Category: Travel & Holiday / Travel Writing
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 20 March 2003
Number of pages: 256
When Fernando spots her in a Venice cafe and knows immediately that she is The One, Marlena de Blasi is caught off guard. A divorced American woman travelling through Italy, she thought she was satisfied with her life. Yet within a few months, she quits her job as a chef, sells her house, kisses her two grown-up kids goodbye, and moves to Venice. Once there, she finds herself sitting in sugar-scented pasticcerie, strolling through sixteenth-century palazzi, renovating an apartment overlooking the seductive Adriatic Sea, and preparing to wed a virtual stranger in an ancient stone church. As this transplanted American learns the hard way about the peculiarities of Venetian culture, we are treated to an honest, often comic view of how two middle-aged people, both set in their ways but also set on being together, build a life. A THOUSAND DAYS IN VENICE is filled with the foods and flavours of Italy and peppered with recipes and culinary observations. But the main course here is about a woman who falls in love with both a man and a city, and finally finds the home she didn't know she was missing.
Across a crowded room in Venice, Marlena de Blesi is seen by a stranger who persuades her to leave her life as a chef and journalist in America to live with him in Italy. This book is her account of what followed. It is an inherently sentimental story, but her 'stranger' is no knight in shining armour, just an ordinary human being who just happens to be the love of her life. As she attempts to adjust to a different culture and absorb the sights and sounds of magical Venice, he too has to learn to accept that the profile he first fell in love with belongs to a three-dimensional woman. Marlena loves Fernando but she also loves to cook. So much the better, if her food can be shared by someone who also loves to eat. However, this is more than a book about sex and cooking. Her descriptions of markets at the Rialto, the preparation and consumption of meals, the loving and sensual details of luscious ingredients, together with descriptions of her romantic house in America and the changes wrought in Fernando's distinctly unpromising flat on the Lido all reveal a woman who will seize and enjoy the moment. Starting to live together as strangers, Marlena and Fernando also have to contend with more practical matters, such as getting things done in Italy in all its bureaucratic glory, as Fernando demonstrates the 'innocent cunning' needed for life there. As their relationship develops, the meals they eat together come to symbolize the love between them. This is a charming story which will be enjoyed by the gourmet and romantic alike. (Kirkus UK)
What the papers say:
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
Marlena de Blasi has been a chef, a journalist, a food and wine consultant and a restaurant critic. The author of two cookbooks, one of which won the James Beard Award, she now directs gastronomic tours through Tuscany and Umbria.
In Stock: 2 copies