Customer Reviews for

A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

LIFE AND LOVE IN TUSCANY

There's no doubt that she's ardent, intense; sometimes fiery. Marlena De Blasi is a passionate woman. Make that passionate with a capital P. A chef, she has a passion for food. Married to Fernando, a Venetian with 'blueberry eyes, ' she has a passion for Italy. He...
There's no doubt that she's ardent, intense; sometimes fiery. Marlena De Blasi is a passionate woman. Make that passionate with a capital P. A chef, she has a passion for food. Married to Fernando, a Venetian with 'blueberry eyes, ' she has a passion for Italy. Her exuberance is so contagious that readers will relish every page of 'A Thousand Days In Tuscany' (as well as the recipe that ends each chapter). Ms. De Blasi waxes so enthusiastically about her subjects that it almost seems she writes in bold print to extol the virtues of wild herbs, fresh cheese, and the Tuscan twilight. She is a firm believer in love, and an advocate of life, as well as the living of it. As many will remember with 'A Thousand Days In Venice,' Ms. De Blasi first visited Italy perhaps a dozen years ago. On her first day there as she was sitting in a café with her traveling companions, she noticed an attractive man who seemed to be looking at her. Next, in true Danielle Steel style, a waiter told her that she had a phone call. It was, of course, the mysterious man urging her to meet him. She declined but returned to the café a few days later to find him there. They saw one another until she returned to St. Louis. He soon followed. Fernando, we learned, was a banker who had never married. He would later say that he knew she was the one the moment he saw her. Although she did not share this initial surety she gave in to his pleas. Much to the astonishment and concern of her grown children and friends she returned with him to Venice where they married. She had imagined an apartment overlooking the Grand Canal. Instead she found a square concrete house on the Lido. Little did that matter - there was Fernando. And, there is still Fernando who came home one day to announce that he has quit his job at the bank, and they're moving to Tuscany. A redone stable lacking central heating, a phone, and other amenities in the small village of San Casciano dei Bagni becomes their new home. It does boast a closet size kitchen with a refrigerator akin to what one might find by a hotel mini bar. She writes of their contract with the stable owner: 'There had been a well-defined agreement with Signora Lucci that the house would be clean and that it would be empty. Neither is the case.' The signora's furniture is 'all in the form of irrefutable junk.' Nonetheless, the ever resourceful De Blasi is soon trimming the windows in her Venetian drapes complete with tasseled tiebacks, and delighting in her first taste of fried zucchini blossoms. The bar or restaurant in the village becomes almost their second home. It is there that they meet the villagers and take their morning espresso. They're adopted by an elderly gentleman, Barlozzo, who tells fascinating stories and indoctrinates them into the ways of the region. He teaches them how to pick olives- one by one, harvest grapes, and hunt for wild mushrooms. Florina or Flori becomes another special friend. She of the shy smile and warm heart. Times, we learn, have changed very little in San Casciano dei Bagni. It is here by the site of the ancient Roman baths, where Horace and Ottaviano Augustus vacationed, that Ms. De Blasi learns 'the great secret that living in the moment and being content with one's portion makes for the best of all lives.' If the reader is fortunate, that is only one small lesson learned during this idyllic sojourn in the Tuscan hills. - Gail Cooke

posted by Anonymous on October 20, 2004

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Barnes and noble=DECEPTIVE AGAIN

I read this book in 2006 and it was a wonderful and CURRENT boook in 2006. WHY does b and n continue to state that a book is coming soon or a NEW release Why dont they do what every other e book company does Include the REAL publishing date and the first e.publish da...
I read this book in 2006 and it was a wonderful and CURRENT boook in 2006. WHY does b and n continue to state that a book is coming soon or a NEW release Why dont they do what every other e book company does Include the REAL publishing date and the first e.publish date Many books get purchased a second time Barnes and Noble should correct this or they will continue to loose out to Kindle and Apple ibooks

posted by 5847646 on July 15, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2004

    LIFE AND LOVE IN TUSCANY

    There's no doubt that she's ardent, intense; sometimes fiery. Marlena De Blasi is a passionate woman. Make that passionate with a capital P. A chef, she has a passion for food. Married to Fernando, a Venetian with 'blueberry eyes, ' she has a passion for Italy. Her exuberance is so contagious that readers will relish every page of 'A Thousand Days In Tuscany' (as well as the recipe that ends each chapter). Ms. De Blasi waxes so enthusiastically about her subjects that it almost seems she writes in bold print to extol the virtues of wild herbs, fresh cheese, and the Tuscan twilight. She is a firm believer in love, and an advocate of life, as well as the living of it. As many will remember with 'A Thousand Days In Venice,' Ms. De Blasi first visited Italy perhaps a dozen years ago. On her first day there as she was sitting in a café with her traveling companions, she noticed an attractive man who seemed to be looking at her. Next, in true Danielle Steel style, a waiter told her that she had a phone call. It was, of course, the mysterious man urging her to meet him. She declined but returned to the café a few days later to find him there. They saw one another until she returned to St. Louis. He soon followed. Fernando, we learned, was a banker who had never married. He would later say that he knew she was the one the moment he saw her. Although she did not share this initial surety she gave in to his pleas. Much to the astonishment and concern of her grown children and friends she returned with him to Venice where they married. She had imagined an apartment overlooking the Grand Canal. Instead she found a square concrete house on the Lido. Little did that matter - there was Fernando. And, there is still Fernando who came home one day to announce that he has quit his job at the bank, and they're moving to Tuscany. A redone stable lacking central heating, a phone, and other amenities in the small village of San Casciano dei Bagni becomes their new home. It does boast a closet size kitchen with a refrigerator akin to what one might find by a hotel mini bar. She writes of their contract with the stable owner: 'There had been a well-defined agreement with Signora Lucci that the house would be clean and that it would be empty. Neither is the case.' The signora's furniture is 'all in the form of irrefutable junk.' Nonetheless, the ever resourceful De Blasi is soon trimming the windows in her Venetian drapes complete with tasseled tiebacks, and delighting in her first taste of fried zucchini blossoms. The bar or restaurant in the village becomes almost their second home. It is there that they meet the villagers and take their morning espresso. They're adopted by an elderly gentleman, Barlozzo, who tells fascinating stories and indoctrinates them into the ways of the region. He teaches them how to pick olives- one by one, harvest grapes, and hunt for wild mushrooms. Florina or Flori becomes another special friend. She of the shy smile and warm heart. Times, we learn, have changed very little in San Casciano dei Bagni. It is here by the site of the ancient Roman baths, where Horace and Ottaviano Augustus vacationed, that Ms. De Blasi learns 'the great secret that living in the moment and being content with one's portion makes for the best of all lives.' If the reader is fortunate, that is only one small lesson learned during this idyllic sojourn in the Tuscan hills. - Gail Cooke

    10 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    Barnes and noble=DECEPTIVE AGAIN

    I read this book in 2006 and it was a wonderful and CURRENT boook in 2006. WHY does b and n continue to state that a book is coming soon or a NEW release Why dont they do what every other e book company does Include the REAL publishing date and the first e.publish date Many books get purchased a second time Barnes and Noble should correct this or they will continue to loose out to Kindle and Apple ibooks

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Made me want to spend 1000 days in Tuscany...

    If you are someone who in fascinated by and wants to learn all things Tuscany, this is a great book for you. Having never been there myself (YET!), the read was like a slow, sumptuous vacation in a Tuscan home, visiting the markets and local restaurants. I didn't want it to end. I am anxious to read her other books, because she did seem a bit guarded about certain things.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 9, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Marlena de Blasi gives us just the right combination of food, at

    Marlena de Blasi gives us just the right combination of food, atmosphere, and romance. I highly recommend this book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2006

    Nice Picture !of a Good Life

    I really enjoyed reading this book. It included extrodinary travel adventures, wonderful cooking scenes,and most important, glimpses into the lives of the local Tuscan population. All in all, it is the tale of a couple simplifying life to increase life. Reader, it's a nice read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    Love Italian

    I read the sample, and loved the author's eloquent description of the food, places and ambiance of the atmosphere of Tuscany. I'm purchasing this book!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    I felt like I was in Tuscany and walked the contry roads w/the principles.

    I could taste the food, enjoy the scenery & learned the principles to where they were MY friends. Highly recommend this & I look forward to "traveling" elsewhere w/the authur.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2013

    To all who enjoyed

    To all of you who enjoyedthis book you might try lunch in paris,great story true story and great reciepes enjoy!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2009

    Another beauty!

    I loved this book as well as 1000 Days in Venice and can't wait to read her others. Yum and Fun!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Nowhere as good as Venice

    This story is nowhere as good as A Thousand Days in Venice! ...Venice held my attention, made me laugh and cry, and filled me with a passion to return to Venice and find all the wonderful places De Blasi visited and worked. The risk she took as a middle-aged woman was inspiring in her first book about her dramatic adventure and life-changes to seek and find her true place and lifelong partner in love. ...Tuscany did not hold my interest. There was simply too much food and cooking descriptions, and not enough about the transformation she went through in finding her new home and life in Tuscany. Though the characters are presumably real people, they did little to inspire me or beckon me back to Tuscany, a beautiful region of Italy with great people, history, and culture. Though I find De Blasi's writing poetic and beautiful, A Thousand Days in Tuscany simply did not live up to my expectations.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    not for me

    Cant get into this book

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2014

    Dd Delightful Delightful,entertaining, profounf Delightful, thought proviking, entertaining and profound'

    Appropriate and educational for both men and women. I found myself laughing and then crying throughout the read. Would love to live like this and maybe someday will. She shares her relationships and journey so well that for a time, you are actually with her.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2014

    Wonderful read

    Makes me want to go to tuscany more than ever

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  • Posted September 27, 2013

    Walking in Tuscany

    I loved this book, but not as much as A thousand days in Venice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    Relaxing and enjoyable to visit tuscany with someone who loves it.

    A very calming book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

    Good

    Good

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  • Posted August 24, 2013

    Not Impressed

    I wanted to like this book, but i just don't. I find Chou a little full of herself, the writing style a bit wordy, but more than that - I'm just bored by it. There is nothing compelling about the story-line, except for the recipes interspersed between chapters. To be completely fair, I'm only halfway through it, but it's definitely not a book I can't put down. Moreover, it's a book I put down often. If it gets better for me, I'll revise my review-but right now, I give it 2 1/2 stars.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Interesting story

    I've been to Tuscany and loved it which is why I bought this book. The story was warm and reminded me of things I liked about Tuscany but it was a little repetitive and wordy.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Travelling without airline tickets? This is one way to visit Tuscany with less miles

    I just finished reading George Eliot's,"Romola" for th first time and felt that I had pleasingly spread my mental faculties enough when I quickly jumped into this book. To me it was an elaboration of "EAT, PRAY and LOVE", about a daredevil couple who had the husband shuck his conventional job as a banker in Venice and sell their apartment and with very little savings start a new life in Tuscany. The wife is a woman who has spent her life enamored with food; joyfully preparing it, always sharing it with others and of course writing about it. This book talks about a couple who are done with the conventional material trappings of this modern world. Her children in the States are grown and she has embarked on a new adventure with this second Italian husband who shares her mindset and free spirit and willingly searches for truffles and gathers the olives and chestnuts from the trees. Of course they quickly bond with the neighbors in the village and from there we see how the romance for the simple life blends with the present. The humanity of the natives impressed me more than the recipes but in the end I was hungry for both.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    unable to rate since I have not finished reading this book.

    will rate this book when I finish reading it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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