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A Thousand Days In Venice: An Unexpected Romance Paperback – 20 Mar 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (20 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741141354
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741141351
  • ASIN: 184408020X
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Above all a love paean to the city. Anyone who has not already visited Venice will want to visit, and those who have been there will want to return soon (BOOK LOONS)

Marlena describes the comical pitfallls of falling in love with a Venetian. Well worth reading. OK! ('If you have ever been to Venice..then you will adore this book. If you have never been to Italy, you will love this book. It's earthy, beautiful, emotional and a true story.')

Evening Herald ('If you're feeling starved of romance, you'll devour A Thousand Days In Venice by Marlena de Blasi'. Prima)

This is a book to appeal to all the senses, full of interesting sidelights on life in Venice...a thoroughly enjoyable read. (New Books Magazine)

Book Description

* Set in the world's most romantic city, this exhilarating memoir tells what it's like to risk it all for love.

* Food lovers will adore this memoir in the tradition of La Cucina/ Like Water for Chocolate.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By CURLY GATES on 23 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like others I initially bought this book because I love Venice. It had an added piquancy for me as a middle-aged woman who loves food, and who unexpectedly fell in love with a stranger.
There is a faint whiff of American cheesiness in it very occasionally, but in the main it is a voluptuous and almost poetic account of a new beginning, an odd romance and immersion in the most glorious city in the world. It made me wiggle my toes with pleasure and make myself slow down so I didn't read it too quickly. The account of their wedding is so glorious that I unashamedly sat on a London bus with tears in my eyes while I read it.
Can't recommend it highly enough, and not just to sentimental women.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
An enchanting and delightful story of romance and recipes. In her biography, Marlena de Blasi tells how she leaves her job in Santa Lucia, America, sells her house and most of her possessions to go and live in Venice with Fernando, a Venetian she has only known a few weeks.
De Blasi is passionate about food, choosing and buying the perfect ingredients, cooking them and eating, preferably with friends, but often on her own or with Fernando in the many cafes and restaurants of Venice.
She seem to capture the essence of Venice in a story packed full of seductive descriptions of the people she meets and of her wanderings around the canals, piazzas and churches of Venice, while searching out the best ingredients in the markets, the perfect fabrics with which to decorate their apartment and a dressmaker with the vision to sew her the wedding dress she desires.
De Blasi captures the Venetian pace of life and the essence of mystical allure of Venice herself. The recipes along the way only add to the enchantment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nicola F (Nic) TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Why *shouldn't* I go to live on the fringes of an Adriatic lagoon with a blueberry-eyed stranger and leave no trail of biscotti crumbs to find my way back?"

Quite right. You go, girl!

This is the true story of Marlena, a middle-aged American chef and journalist who quite unexpectedly stumbles into love in glorious Venice with Fernando, a quirky banker and Peter Sellers lookalike.

Told with both warmth and sentimental humour, the book recounts everything, from their first awkward meeting, to Fernando's determination to win the heart of the woman he fell in love with at first sight, then ultimately to Marlena giving up her life in the US to follow her heart and move to Italy.

The prose is beautiful; it's almost sheer poetry at times. De Blasi's descriptions of the sights, sounds and smells around her are just faultless- lush with richness and romance. She has an ability to bring people alive through her words- I just devoured this book.

Speaking of devouring: the recipes. Oh yum, the recipes!! Placed in the context at which she herself enjoyed them, they conjure up the speedy deliriousness of falling in love and evocative Italian life. I will DEFINITELY be trying some of them; particularly the pasta with walnut sauce. At times I was torn between wanting to hurry up to see what happened next, but crying and trying to slow down, because I knew that this beautiful book was drawing to a close.

For an Italian obsessed foodie like me, I have to bluntly state that this was in fact the perfect novel and one that I will treasure for years to come. I can't wait to read her other books.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book written by an American woman tells the story of her meeting the love of her life in Venice. She captures the very essence of the city in her descriptions and brings it all to the reader in her unique way.
The events leading to the meeting with Fernando, a lonely Venetian living in a shabby apartment, fill the reader with anticipation as to how and when they will speak for the first time. Her feelings and emotions, her hesitation, and the falling in love with a stranger in the world's most romantic city is the stuff of dreams.
The descriptions of the food they eat are utterly mouthwatering, not surprising really as the author is a chef, food critic and journalist. There are some recipes included to capture the taste of their meals together. A real treat.
This is one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. Intelligent, literary writing. I just wish I had the words to write a better review!
Highly recommended to all lovers of Venice, Italy, and romance in the middle years.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 21 July 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Marlena de Blasi eats herself through Venezia while her love story unfolds! I bought this book because I love Venezia and I wanted to "see" a Venezia that a one-day-visitor does not get to "see". I wanted to read about love, a love story that in reality is like a real Hollywood film it turned out. As I turned the pages I of course was intrigued by how love can stumble on you at the most unexpected moments and in the most unexpected places. But I am a hopeless cook! I eat only to survive and I could not care less for all the crumbs of food she ate during her 1000 days in venezia. I have walked the streets that she has walked and did not notice a single fruit, vegetable or restaurant. My interest is in the canals, it's history, the houses, the little details like flowers, cobblestones, narrow alleys, house details and decorations. You will not really find any of that in Marlena's book.
She is a cook but did she have to fill out the pages with recipes? Could they not have been placed at the end so that we who want to just read the story, could have been spared the interruption. I have never seen anything like it and you have to read part of the recipes too since information about her story is there as well.
For the love story's sake I recommend this book. It is fascinating to see how a mature couple is trying to get to know each other without understanding each others languages, how they have to fight a corrupt system in Italy to be able to marry and battle the Catholic Church as well and how two people set in their ways, of which one has never been in a relationship at all, have to learn how to compromise.
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