A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure
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A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure (Italian Memoirs)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  3,632 ratings  ·  225 reviews
American chef Marlena de Blasi and her Venetian husband, Fernando, married rather late in life. In search of the rhythms of country living, the couple moves to a barely renovated former stable in Tuscany with no phone, no central heating, and something resembling a playhouse kitchen. They dwell among two hundred villagers, ancient olive groves, and hot Etruscan springs. In...more
ebook, 325 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (first published 2004)
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Asya Karaivanova
Приятна изненада се оказа тази книга, попаднала случайно при мен. Видът и анотациите отзад предполагат да се чете поредната лигава боза, пълна с лИбоФ. Но ако има любов в тази книга, то това е любовта към храната, виното и тосканското слънце, към простичкия живот, пълен с хармония. Книгата не е за хора на диета, детайлните описания на хранителните навици и ритуали, както и подробните рецепти вътре изкушават всеки човек да пожелае не само да опита тази храна, но да го направи точно там, в Тоскана...more
Tay Mueller
I really wanted to like this book. There were some passages that I loved. But ultimately, I was let down because the book cannot decide what it wants to be.

Her choice of language occasionally left me puzzled, and pulled me away from the story, wondering if she cared more about her flowery language than telling her story.

The number of days began to bother me as I read, wondering why there was a limit when they were talking about putting down roots and staying - was there some disaster waiting ar...more
Smack dab in the midst of normal and predictable routine, a gypsy thought will sometimes flit through my mind. What would it be like to pull up stakes, travel to an idyllic vacation spot, and live a carefree life? That is exactly what Marlena De Blasi did. She is a kind of modern day gypsy, an American who traveled to Italy to do research for her cook book and ended up in Venice, fell madly in love and married, then moved to Tuscany to taste and touch and feel its earthy pleasures. This book is...more
I loved this book for many reasons. I wasn't inspired by the dishes she sensually described or the recipes she shared. I was inspired by how food united the people in the story. Through food they had culture, effervescence, togetherness and a bond. Through discovering/gathering food, breaking bread Marlena and Fernando were able to turn a grumpy old man into a loving, passionate friend and a dotting lover. Barlozzo took them on these adventures to these picking festivals in the fields, but he di...more
Don't expect this to be a literary sensation but I thought that this tale achieved what it set out to acheive.

At first the author's griping at having to relocate from Venice to Tuscany to fulfil her husband's desire to escape his Venice banking life grated somewhat. Doesn't she know how lucky she is? However, her growing sense love for the new part of Italy soon began to shine through as she throws herself into the life of the community. The author has journalism and food criticism background, s...more
Jul 24, 2009 Lori rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Just about everyone
This was just about the perfect book for me. I enjoyed this more than her first book, A Thousand Days in Venice which was good. This combined one of my favorite regions in the world with a wonderful exploration of the food and culture of that region. I felt the heat of the sun while she harvested grapes and I could smell the rosemary she loved to add to her cooking fire. I don't know if this book was so perfect for me because I was reading it in from an ideal place (on a deserted beach on a Cari...more
Linda C.
A Thousand Days in Tuscany was a very tough book to read. Now I want to go to Tuscany, rent a villa and live among the locals. I'm under employed therefore my ability to travel to wonderful and interesting places is out of the question. The stories of cooking and baking and gathering chestnuts and olives from the field made me hungry. My mouth drooled while reading the author's descriptions of each meal. I'm on a diet. It was torture.

And then there's the whole wine thing. All her wondrous cooki...more
This non-fiction account of Marlena De Blasi's life adventure in Italy is a continuation of her love story that began in A Thousand Days In Venice. I am enjoying her adventures and will also read the next installment of her story but found this book not as cohesive as the first. She is a good writer and her food descriptions make you want to go to the kitchen and snack but I feel the breakdown of the story was more of an editor problem than a writer problem. She continues to express her love for...more
Un livre qui m'a rappelé l'atmosphère du roman "Sous le soleil de Toscane" de Frances Mayes tout en étant complètement différent. C'est une histoire pleine de charme qui invite à une certaine nonchalance dans ce village où il fait bon vivre et qui donne au lecteur des envies de sieste sous les figuiers, de tomates au basilic, d'huile d'olives et de pain frais. C'est un livre qui incite à la rêverie et à la paresse. On va suivre au fil des pages, Marlena et son mari ancien employé de banque qui d...more
In search of a new life Fernando cuts all his ties with his birthplace Venice and takes his wife Marlena to live in Tuscany. She is not keen to leave the Venice she loves but understands her husbands desire to leave the demons that trouble him behind. Will this new beginning work for them or will his melancholy follow them.
They settle in the small village of San Casciano dei Bagni near the borders of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio meet. Life is still ruled here as it has been for centuries by the sea...more
Quote from the book: "Hell is when nothing is cooking and no one is waiting." This book is all about food and cooking--oh, and there is a sweet story of relationships and finding joy in the moment. My problem was that the life in which she found joy (cooking constantly) sounded so unappealing to me, although I'd love to visit and let her cook for me for a week while I hiked around the countryside. I did enjoy the story behind the food, but there were too many pages all about the food.
enjoyed reading about the building of their outdoor stone oven, the scene during the annual olive press and the making of the bruschetta, and one of the stories told by one of the village people about when times were scarce and a mom had to give her hungry son one small piece of bread and stretched it out with her imagination by pretending it was a sandwich made with his favorite cheese. the recipes sounded good too...might try out the chestnut cookies.
I always love a woman that pulls up roots and does something totally different in her life. This author has a way of poetically describing everything she sees. I felt like I was living in Italy and embracing a slow pace of life. Loved the food descriptions which were plenty. Foraging for food holds a special interest for me and she definitely did her share - truffles, lettuces, dandelion - she harvested chestnuts and picked grapes. I could feel the accomplishment and the tired she felt from that...more
Aug 17, 2009 Dale rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to all my family
Recommended to Dale by: I found this on a library shelf
I guess I like to read books I can relate to with regards to my ancestry, my experience of life on this earth. Italy calls to me since my maternal grandparents were born there. This book had me speaking Italian and eating pasta and drinking wine. I now carry a picnic basket in my trunk in case the opportunity should arrise.

Loved this book!
Yeah, she is REALLY getting on my nerves this time around. I just read where she made a dress from drapes. Drapes, people!

I also just read where one Italian man--known as the "duke"--asks her why her food is salty and sweet, and she says--dramatic pause--"Because life tastes like that."

If anything, this is more beautiful than its predecessor, A Thousand Days in Venice. De Blasi captures life in a small town in Italy and the people who inhabit it with prose that makes you weep and laugh as much as her descriptions of the food make you salivate.
Patrice Sartor
I got to page 34 before giving up, and it wasn't a quick and easy time to get even those few pages done. While the description of the food was fine, I simply did not care for De Blasi's writing style. It felt overly slow and dull to me.
Was highly recommended to me as preparation for an upcoming trip to Tuscany. Beautiful descriptions of a rustic life through four seasons, each with mouth-watering, belly-warming recipes. Also a nice way to pick up a few Italian phrases.
Wow so loved this book - It makes you wan to be there, eating there, living there, I was so engrossed in this book - She lives life - embraces it- Great memoir of her time in Tuscany
I am finding it really hard to get into this book. I'll keep trying.
Terrible book. Made it half way and quit.
Angel Stafford
I could not finish this one.
This is a book about food. Really. Ok, well maybe it's a book about Italian culture too. But there's a lot of food in it.

Three years after marrying her husband in Venice, Marlena is apprehensive when they sell everything and move to Tuscany. Here they have no job, are renting a house, but they quickly become adapted to village life and make a few friends. One of these is a man who used to live in their house long ago and is a great source of help on projects from making a bread oven to harvestin...more
A Thousand Days in Tuscany is the second part of the trilogy of books tracing De Blasi's new life in Italy. Where the first book left of with her and her new husband's resolution to leave the city of Venice for a simpler country life, this book begins with the move from Venice.

In their new home, they meet two residents who become the other major characters in the memoir: Barlozzo and Flori, two long-time residents of their city who, throughout the year chronicled in the book, help De Blasi and h...more
From my blog:
A Thousand Days in Venice is the first in Marlena de Blasi's series of travel books about her time in Italy. I found it on her agent's website when I was researching that particular agent and her tastes, and it caught my eye. I sensed that I wasn't quite the target audience—it's a story of a middle-aged woman finding love late in life, both with a person and a place— but I was still intrigued by its love story and, well, Italy.

But I was right. In fact, this seems to be a reoccurring...more
Shannon Luster
Good Premise

A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure written by Marlena De Blasi immediately grabbed my attention. I started off with high hopes that the book would transport me to romantic Italy.

The book documents the often turbulent yet passionate relationship between a married couple, Marlena and Fernando. They are newcomers to the small village in Tuscany, Italy. She is an American chef and food writer. He was a Venetian banker. Now they are in love, trying to set roots in Tuscany...more
Beth Bonini
I found this book whilst browsing in Siena, and it seemed to offer up just that sort of "spirit of place" that I enjoy in holiday reading. And it didn't disappoint. Although de Blasi is American, her knowledge of the Italian language and food traditions -- not to mention her intimate acquaintance with an Italian husband -- was the perfect insider/outsider lens for looking at the Tuscan culture. The village she lives in for a time was not far from where we were staying -- just for a week in a ren...more
Tina Culbertson
I know I missed out by not reading A Thousand Days in Venice before starting the Tuscany follow-up. It’s not a sequel but I think I missed the blossoming love story in Venice . So, that’s on my list now too. Hmmmmmm…the to-read list gets longer and I fear I won’t live long enough to complete it.

A Thousand Days in Tuscany
Marlena de Blasi has my dream job. Chef, writer, food consultant and traveler………bliss. Evidently she met her soul mate in Venice . The start of a Thousand Days in Tuscany has th...more
I picked up A Thousand Days in Tuscany to give to my daughter-in-law for Christmas because of its bright cover and promise of a love story based in Italy. After getting it home, I realized that she wasn't the target audience for this book, and I was. This is the second book in a series about mature lovers, she an American and he an Italian, who are searching for the perfect place to build their new lives together. Similar to Frances Mayes's odes to Italy, de Blasi's language invokes the senses o...more
Sarah Sammis
A Thousand Days in Tuscany, the sequel to A Thousand Days in Venice finds Marlena and Fernando moved from the bustle of Venice to the quiet countryside of Tuscany. While they try to find their piece with the seasonal rhythms of the village, they also balk at convention, trying to bring their own version of rural life to fruition. For example, Marlena to the astonishment of her neighbors, has a wood oven built in her yard so she can make her own bread.

A Thousand Days in Venice is a more hectic bo...more
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“Maybe the only thing that matters is to make our lives last as long as we do. You know, to make a life last until it ends, to make all the parts come out even, like when you rub the last piece of bread in the last drop of oil on your plate and eat it with the last sip of wine in your glass.” 8 likes
“They all know the truth, that there are only three subjects worth talking about. At least here in these parts," he says, "The weather, which, as they're farmers, affects everything else. Dying and birthing, of both people and animals. And what we eat - this last item comprising what we ate the day before and what we're planning to eat tomorrow. And all three of these major subjects encompass, in one way or another, philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, the physical sciences, history, art, literature, and religion. We get around to sparring about all that counts in life but we usually do it while we're talking about food, it being a subject inseparable from every other subject. It's the table and the bed that count in life. And everything else we do, we do so we can get back to the table, back to the bed.” 5 likes
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