A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 this patch of earth where Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio collide, there is much to feed de Blasi's two passions--food and love. We accompany the ...
See more details below
A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 29%)$14.95 List Price

Overview

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 this patch of earth where Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio collide, there is much to feed de Blasi's two passions--food and love. We accompany the couple as they harvest grapes, gather chestnuts, forage for wild mushrooms, and climb trees in the cold of December to pick olives, one by one. Their routines are not that different from those of villagers centuries earlier.

They are befriended by the mesmeric Barlozzo, a self-styled village chieftain. His fascinating stories lead de Blasi more deeply inside the soul of Tuscany. Together they visit sacred festivals and taste just-pressed olive oil, drizzled over roasted country bread, and squash blossoms, battered and deep-fried and sprayed with sea-salted water. In a cauldron set over a wood fire, they braise beans in red wine, and a stew of wild boar simmers overnight in the ashes of their hearth. Barlozzo shares his knowledge of Italian farming traditions, ancient health potions, and artisanal food makers, but he has secrets he doesn't share, and one of them concerns the beautiful Floriana, whose illness teaches Marlena that happiness is truly a choice.

Like the pleasurable tastes and textures of a fine meal, A Thousand Days in Tuscany is as satisfying as it is enticing. The author's own recipes are included.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From its opening scene of an impromptu alfresco village feast of fried zucchini blossoms, fennel-roasted pork, and pudding made from the cream of a local blue-eyed cow, this memoir of the seasons in a small Tuscan village is rich with food, weather, romance and, above all, life. De Blasi continues the adventures begun in her A Thousand Days in Venice, as she and her husband, Fernando, leave Venice for Tuscany in search of "a place that still remembers real life... sweet and salty... each side of life dignifying the other." Fortunately, the two are adopted by Barlozzo, an elderly local eager to share his knowledge of the old ways. He introduces them to the local customs: grape harvesting, truffle hunting, bread baking, etc. Although the book teems with food references, including recipes for intriguing traditional dishes, de Blasi is more than a sunny regional food writer-she digs into the meaning of life. As she fights Fernando's periodic depressions and brings him back to joy, gains Barlozzo's trust and love, learns his troubling lifelong secrets and comes to terms with the death of a beloved friend, she immerses her readers in life's poignancy, brevity and wonder. Agent, Rosalie Siegel. (Nov. 5) Forecast: Fans of Frances Mayes's oeuvre will gravitate to this, as well as those who read A Thousand Days in Venice. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Picking up where her A Thousand Days in Venice left off, American author and chef de Blasi and her Italian husband trade their stable life in Venice for a potentially idyllic Tuscan one. Taken under the wing by a local who mentors her foray into the ways of the past, the author participates in every aspect of the local food culture, from harvesting grapes to truffle hunting, and vividly describes her adopted community through its preparation and celebration of food. Equal parts an exploration of Tuscan food and culture and a touching story of its people, this book supplemented with complementary recipes reads more like a novel than the memoir it is. Recommended for public libraries and larger cooking collections. Sheila Kasperek, Mansfield Univ. Lib., PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Another savory slice of de Blasi's life (A Thousand Days in Venice, 2002, etc.), this one chronicling her move south to a small Tuscan town. "Three years ago, when I left America to come to live in Italy, it was neither Venice nor the house on the beach that lured me. Rather it was this man, this Fernando. It's quite the same thing now. We've hardly come to Tuscany for the house." Which is a good thing, for this old stable is far from chic. That's not the point; they have come there to scrub their lives as if with a loofa, to follow the rituals of rural culture in San Casciano dei Bagni, a place of olive and cypress trees, meadows with sheep and sunflowers and lavender. Food will take center stage: fat and velvety zucchini blossoms; a haunch of boar; pecorino bread; ropes of pasta dressed with green tomatoes, garlic, oil, and basil; all the humble, inspired dishes that make you want to bark with pleasure. Without fanfare, the townspeople can gather in a spontaneous convocation, "whispering gastronomic lore like vespers." De Blasi faithfully catches San Casciano in all its weathers, evoking its ancient roots (Roman legions tramped through this land), its artistic association (Rafaello and Perugino), and its political leanings (more than slightly red), as well as the wartime ingenuity that remains a wonder half a century later. The inhabitants, each in their own way, tilt de Blasi's days, making them sweeter and more pungent. One old soul advises on all things San Casciano; another woman makes sure the couple doesn't get too sentimental as they get evermore romantic. The proceedings entail both comfort and risk: the sun shines pink, and the stone floors deliver a welcome coolness, but theswift passage of time lends an edge with the prospect of death. An object lesson in living fully from a genuine sensualist unabashed by her emotions.
From the Publisher
“De Blasi’s glittering descriptions and mouthwatering recipes take you directly into the heart of Italy and into the souls of the Italian people.”
–Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of Lucia, Lucia

“Filled with warmth and the rich and simple drama of a beautiful life. The evocation of country dishes is mouthwatering, the lyrical beauty irresistible.”
–Susan Herrmann Loomis, author of On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town

“A love poem to de Blasi’s professional life as a chef.”
–USA Today

“Rich with food, weather, romance, and, above all, life . . . [De Blasi] immerses her readers in life’s poignancy, brevity, and wonder.”
–Publishers Weekly

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565125902
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 11/1/2004
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 325
  • Sales rank: 60,168
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Marlena de Blasi

An American chef and food and wine journalist, Marlena de Blasi has written five memoirs, a novel, and two books about the regional foods of Italy. She lives with her husband in the Umbrian hilltown of Orvieto. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages.

Good To Know

In our exclusive interview with de Blasi, she shared some fascinating insights about her background, her inspirations, and her life in Italy.

"Everything is inspiration to write. A writer never stops writing, even if it's in his head or on paper napkins. I've been desperate enough to scratch half phrases on my bedsheets, not finding paper and fearing to lose a thought should I get up to look for such."

"I don't think writers can be raised up in a creative writing class. I think it's a bold, bad lie to convince someone he should -- or can -- be taught to write. I think writers' groups can sometimes be helpful, but I'm mostly wary even of them. Writing is a private, solo, isolating, and very lonely job. But if you're a writer, it's all you ever want to do."

"[My first job] was as a radio voice and TV voice and face. My best contracts were with Peugeot -- (‘the best-kept automotive secret in America -- Peugeot') -- and Coty perfumes -- (‘if you want to capture someone's attention, whisper') and other sort of soft-sell products."

"I taught cooking on a PBS channel for a few years. I was very passionate about this opportunity and wanted the audience to not just learn formula, but to be inspired by the beauty and sensuality of the raw food itself. My first show was live. And not understanding my gaffe until the producer explained it to me, I opened by holding up a single, great, and splendid leek. Camera in for a close-up. I smiled my TV model smile and said: ‘First, you take a leek.' I know someone has since written a book with that title, but I can assure you my traffic with those words came long before it."

"Since I live in a 14th-century palazzo on the via del Duomo in an Umbrian hill town, there's not such a great deal from which to unwind. Our life is simple and full of rituals such as sidling up to the bar in our favorite caffè -- Montanucci -- at least four times a day for cappuccini, aperitivi, pastry, chocolate, and sympathy; I write very early in the morning for a few hours, and then at about nine we go to the morning markets, shop for lunch, sit in the caffè and talk to our friends, come home to cook and put our bread in the oven. We sit down to lunch at one, get up from the table at about two-thirty or three, nap for an hour. I write until about seven-thirty, when we take the passeggiata -- the evening stroll -- the moment when the whole town is out and about. We pick up a few things for supper, take an aperitivo with our friends, head back home, where we'll dine at about nine-thirty, or go out to dine at one of the typical, tiny osterie for which Orvieto is famous."

"How wonderful you ask about dislikes, though I'm not certain this sits in that category or in the one labeled ‘things that hurt.' But I find readers who judge style -- my style -- tiresome, presumptuous, often using the critical forum to air barely disguised ‘issues' of their own. And is there some glint of jealousy in their criticism? I'm not sure. That I see and feel life in a certain way and then write about it in my own voice, well, that belongs to me. Also I think it's that I find sarcasm, in all its tortured forms, to be simply naked insecurity. It's grand whenever a person states their sentiments. Better, if done so with a fine set of civil manners."

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Orvieto, a hilltown in Umbria
    1. Education:
      B.A., State University of New York at Albany; graduate studies in political science, New York University

Read an Excerpt

The scent of them is enough to send up a short, sharp thrill in a hungry person. Seething hot beauties, they repose in a great unruly pile on the white linen. The yellow of the naked blossoms shows through the gilt sheaths of their crackling skin. Skin thin as Venetian glass, I think. But I'm far away from Venice. We live in Tuscany, now. As of this morning, we live in Tuscany. I say it breezily to myself as though it was all in a day's work. Yesterday Venice. Today, San Casciano dei Bagni. And six hours after arrival, here I am already in a kitchen. In the small, steamy kitchen of the local bar watching two white-hatted, pink-smocked cooks preparing antipasti for what seems to have become a village festival.


The gorgeous things they're cooking are zucchini blossoms, fat and velvety, almost as wide and long as lilies. And the frying dance is precise: drag a blossom quickly through the nearly liquid batter, let the excess drain back into the bowl, lay the blossom gently in the wide, low-hipped pot of hot, very hot shimmering oil. Another blossom and another. Twelve at a time in each of four pots. The blossoms are so light that, as a crust forms on one side, they bob about in the oil and turn themselves over and over until a skimmer is slid in to rescue them, to lay them for a moment on thick brown paper. The paper is then used as a sling to transport the blossoms to a linen-lined tray. One of the cooks fills a red glass bottle with warm, sea-salted water. She fits a metal sprayer onto the bottle and, holding it at arm's length, spritzes the gold blossoms with the salty water. The hot skins hiss and the perfume of them is whipped up and out into the moist June Tuscan breeze.


Pan-to-hand-to-mouth food, these are sustenance for the twelve-minute interval before supper, and so when the first hundred are ready, the cook, the one called Bice, hands me the tray and says 'vai,' 'go' without looking up. A kitchen directive from one colleague to another, from one chef to another, she says it with familiarity, as though we've worked together for years. But tonight I'm not the chef. I think I'm a guest or am I the hostess? I'm not at all sure how this festival got started but I'm happy it did.


Happy and still unwashed from the morning's journey, from the afternoon's work, I'm salty as the blossoms I offer to people, who take them without ceremony. The same familiarity is at work here as each one smiles or pats me on the shoulder, says grazie bella, thank you beauty, as if I'd been passing them hot, crisp flowers all my life. I like this. For one moment it occurs that I might run with the basket to some dim corner of the piazza to devour the remaining blossoms myself, eyes half-closed in a lusty swoon among the shadows. But I don't. Some people don't wait until I reach them but come to me, take a flower while sipping wine or talking over their shoulders. People are collecting about me now, rooks swooping in for the things until nothing is left, save errant crumbles, crunchy and still-warm, which I press onto my finger and suck.


*****



Deep-Fried Flowers, Vegetables, and Herbs

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups beer

1/2 cup cold water

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

3 ice cubes

Peanut oil or extra virgin olive oil for frying

Zucchini blossoms, nasturtium flowers, and borage flowers, rinsed, dried, and stems trimmed

Celery leaves cut in branches, rinsed, and dried
Whole sage leaves, rinsed and dried

Tiny spring onions or scallions, stems trimmed to about 4 inches in length, rinsed and dried

Warm sea-salted water in a sprayer


In a large bowl, beat together with a fork the flour, beer, water, and sea salt to form a thin batter. Let the batter rest for an hour or so, covered and at room temperature. Stir in the ice cubes and let the batter rest for an additional half-hour. Stir the batter again. It should now be smooth and have the texture of heavy cream. If it’s too thick, add cold water by the tablespoonful until the "heavy cream" texture is achieved.


Over a medium flame, heat the oil in a deep fryer or a heavy pan to a depth of 3". The more slowly the oil heats, the more evenly it will heat, helping you to avoid hot and cold spots and unevenly fried foods. Test the oil by dropping in a cube of bread. If it sizzles and turns golden in a few seconds, the oil is ready.


Drag the flowers, herbs, and spring onions through the batter, shaking off the excess. Place them into the hot oil and let them bob about for half a minute or so, allowing them to take on a good, dark crust. Turn them with tongs, to finish frying, then remove them with a slotted spoon to absorbent paper towels. Using a virgin plant sprayer, spray each batch immediately with warm sea-salted water and keep them in a 100-degree oven while you fry the next batch. Better, gather people around the stove and eat the things pan to hand to mouth. A very informal first course.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents



PROLOGUE 1

Summer

1 The Gorgeous Things They're Cooking Are Zucchini Blossoms 7

2 Figs and Apples Threaded on Strings 30

3 The Valley Is Safe, and We Will Bake Bread 64

4 Are You Making a Mattress Stuffed with Rosemary? 81

5 Sit the Chicken in a Roasting Pan on a Pretty Bed of Turnips and Onions, Leeks and Carrots 90


Fall

6 Vendemmiamo--Let's Pick Those Grapes 105

7 Dolce e Salata, Sweet and Salty--Because That's How Life Tastes to Me 124

8 Now These Are Chestnut Trees 150

9 Do Tuscans Drink Wine at Every Meal? 170


Winter

10 Perhaps as a Genus, Olives Know Too Much 195

11 December Has Come to Live in the Stable 218

12 Supper Made from Almost Nothing 248

13 Fasting Was How We Were Living Anyway 264


Spring

14 Virtuous Drenches 293

15 Florì and I Are Shelling Peas 303

16 The First of the Zucchini Blossoms Are Up 314


Recipes

Deep-Fried Flowers, Vegetables, and Herbs 28

The Holy Ghost's Cherries 62

Schiacciata Toscana, Tuscan Flatbread (or "Squashed" Breads) 79

Winemaker's Sausages Roasted with Grapes 120

Fagioli al Fiasco sotto le Cenere, Beans Braised in a Bottle under the Cinders 122

Braised Pork to Taste Like Wild Boar 147

Castagnaccio 192

The One and Only True Bruschetta (brew-sket'-ah)What It Is and How to Pronounce It 247

A Tasting of Pecorino Cheeses with Chestnut Honey 301

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

1. This book is titled A Thousand Days in Tuscany:A Bittersweet Adventure. What do you consider to be the “bittersweet adventure” of the subtitle? What would you call a book that chronicled the past thousand days of your life?

2. San Casciano is itself a living, breathing character in the book. What is your most vivid impression of the town? How is it similar to, or different from, impressions you had about Tuscany prior to reading this book?

3. How do the author and her husband adjust to living in the rustic world of San Casciano? What does de Blasi see as the most rewarding and challenging aspects of this new life? In your view, what would be most appealing about living a similar existence in a simple, rural town? What would be the most frustrating?

4. How does de Blasi reconcile the tension that sometimes exists between “the simple life” and the march of progress, especially as she acclimates to her new environment? How do the villagers respond to this conflict—of “tradition versus the new”—in their own ways? Have you ever struggled with a similar tension in your life?

5. The author has said that this book is a companion piece to A Thousand Days in Venice. How does the book function as one standalone memoir, and how does it provide another piece in the puzzle of the author’s life? Do you think all readers would benefit from reading these books in tandem? If you’ve read both books, does de Blasi’s mindset change from one to the next, with her change in location?

6. A Thousand Days in Tuscany is separated into sections delineated by season. Discuss this organizational technique. How does the framework of the book mirror the way that rural Tuscan life unfolds? Could you imagine this book organized in any different way?

7. On page 99, de Blasi writes, “Right now all I know is that in love there must be some form of desperation and some form of joy.” Do you agree or disagree with this idea? How is this statement exemplified by the relationships in the book, particularly the one that de Blasi shares with her husband and the one between Barlozzo and Florìana?

8. De Blasi develops a passionate relationship with the land itself. Why does she so enjoy the grape and olive picking she becomes a part of during the course of the book? What connection does this give her to the earth? What activities do you enjoy that might impart that same sort of feeling?

9. “Both my clothes and I are survivors of some other time,” says de Blasi on page 133. How do the clothes that the author chooses to wear evoke her personality and character? Why does she choose to wear one particular ensemble per season?

10. How does de Blasi’s discussion of food throughout this memoir impact your understanding of her life? Do you plan to try any of the recipes that the book includes?

11. Why do de Blasi and Fernando nickname Barlozzo “the duke”? Why do you think Barlozzo immediately takes de Blasi under his wing? What characteristics do the two share? How does Barlozzo’s counsel and involvement shape the life that de Blasi and Fernando construct in San Casciano?

12. How does Barlozzo’s story about his past give clues about the formation of his adult personality? Ultimately, how is he constrained by the ghosts of his parents, and how is he able to triumph over them? Have you ever felt a similar struggle with the past?

13. What about Florìana was so compelling, and to the author and Barlozzo in particular? Why do you think she was so private about her illness? How did her fellow villagers respect her need for privacy and, ultimately, for companionship?

14. The note that Florì leaves for Barlozzo reads, “I wanted death to find me dancing.” How does Florì’s attitude about death mirror the one she holds about life? If you needed to leave someone a similar note at the end of your life, what would it say?

15. In which ways are de Blasi and Fernando a study in how “opposites attract”? How do their different personalities and cultures play a part in their relationship? How are the two similar, both in their approach to their relationship and to their new life in San Casciano? How does their relationship evolve during their time in Tuscany?

16. De Blasi tells Misha that security “is a myth.” Do you agree with her statement? What prompts Misha’s concern about his friends’ safety and security? Do you think that Misha fears change? Why? Does de Blasi value “risk more than comfort,” as Barlozzo contends? What is the largest risk you’ve taken in your life? How was it rewarding?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 49 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted July 7, 2013

    not for me

    Cant get into this book

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 27, 2013

    Walking in Tuscany

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

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

    Posted September 6, 2013

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

    A very calming book.

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

    Posted September 4, 2013

    Good

    Good

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

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

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

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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)