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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 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...
Published on 20 Oct 2004 by Gail Cooke

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love Italy? Yes then worth reading
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...
Published on 7 Feb 2008 by LindyLouMac


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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LIFE AND LOVE IN TUSCANY, 20 Oct 2004
By 
Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Thousand Days in Tuscany (Paperback)
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
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love Italy? Yes then worth reading, 7 Feb 2008
By 
LindyLouMac (Wales and Italy) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Thousand Days in Tuscany (Paperback)
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 seasons and the foods available around them. They become very close to two locals Barlozzo and Floriana and through them learn of the rhythms of life and love in a Tuscan village. As the story of these two couples unfolds it puts life into perspective for the four of them.

It appealed to me because of my own love of Italy and all things Italian, some of the episodes were oh so familiar; particularly as I know the region Marlena is writing about and have sampled similar dishes to those she includes recipes for at the end of each chapter.
However unless you are a dedicated Italiaphile I feel you may find this is just another Life in Tuscany book. Very similar to the many others available and does not particularly stand out from the crowd apart from some of Marlena de Blasi's poetic prose.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book, 5 Dec 2013
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This review is from: A Thousand Days in Tuscany (Paperback)
I highly recommend this any any other book by the author. The way she talks about italy and food is beautiful. Love the recipes too!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal if you want to capture the scents, sights, sounds of Tuscany!, 19 Mar 2013
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This review is from: A Thousand Days in Tuscany (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book from the start and think Marlena de Blasi tells a good tale! She comes across as very passionate and communicates her love of Italian life, food & relationships very well. It's hard not to be envious of the seemingly idyllic lifestyle that the couple enjoy.

This is more than a food writer’s journal,although you feel like you have experienced a thorough cookery course in Tuscany once you have read it. I did feel compelled to make some of the recipes in the book. One of my favourites which was very successful happens to be Salsicce Arrostite l’Uve al Vinaio or Winemaker’s Sausages roasted with grapes which was molto buono!

A Thousand Days in Tuscany is an easy & enjoyable read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous ! A "Must Read" !, 9 Feb 2013
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MaggieP (England, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Thousand Days in Tuscany (Paperback)
Continuing the story of Marlena's & Fernando's life in Tuscany. Marlena's writing draws the reader into the very essence of Italian life - the people, the culture, the food & drink - & we are presented with such diverse characters & situations, which are so typical of the crazy, wonderful, vibrant, lovable, enfuriating, touching, funny & sometimes sad or tragic lives of those around them.
The reader cannot help becoming absorbed in all things Italian. The book describes how Fernando & Marlena start a new life in Tuscany, after leaving Venice, & struggle to get their house ready to live in, comfortably, & their enthralling "adventures" with their characterful neighbours. The new friendships they make. How Fernando slowly becomes less of "the Banker" & more of the "paesano" is equally as interesting.
If you've never experienced Italy or the Italians, I would highly recommend you visit that wonderful country, & if you can't get there, read Marlena's books, try out her superb recipes, & you will find yourself there "in spirit", if not in person.
Would highly recommend this book to everyone, & suggest reading "A Thousand Days In Venice" FIRST, then follow on with this one.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A thousand Days in Tuscany, 28 Jan 2013
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This review is from: A Thousand Days in Tuscany (Paperback)
I found this quite disappointing after reading "A thousand days in Venice".
I have spent many holidays in Tuscany and found this book rather boring. Perhaps someone who doesn't know the region or Italy for that matter would find it interesting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Escapism, 6 Sep 2012
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This review is from: A Thousand Days in Tuscany (Paperback)
I loved A Thousand Days in Venice and this is a wonderful follow up. It has the magical ingredients of a mid life romance spurring two people to take risks they wouldn't otherwise have taken and all set in the glorious Tuscan countryside. It is definitely a book for food lovers but is much more than that. It shows that an abundant life results from an appreciation of the simpler things in life and spending time with like minded souls.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A thousand days ....., 20 Aug 2012
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Not as enjoyable as the previous '1,000 days in Venice', but an easy read
made more enjoyable by my love of the area
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5.0 out of 5 stars Autobiographical, 12 Feb 2012
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This review is from: A Thousand Days in Tuscany (Paperback)
This is a page turner. Ms Di Blasi writes of her time in Tuscany. The book follows on from her three years in Venice and her marriage there. If you haven't already, read A Thousand Days in Venice first. She is a wonderful writer, very amusing, and makes you long to go to Tuscany.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 1000 days in Tuscany, 28 Nov 2011
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An easy read with lots of lovely typical Italian observations and sayings. Also plenty of interesting stories about Tuscany, its history, customs, etc. Especially geared towards food, as the author is a chef and includes some fairly unusual Tuscan recipes. Also a little bit of romance as the author has not long been married to her Italian husband. I wouldn't say the book is of great literary brilliance, but it is a nice read especially for anyone in love with that part of Italy.
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A Thousand Days in Tuscany
A Thousand Days in Tuscany by Marlena de Blasi (Paperback - 7 July 2005)
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