'This true midlife romance reads like a fairytale.' - Sunday Life..'Replete with details of food and markets, with recipes appended, this is a sumptuous addition to the escape to Italy/France genre.' - Sydney Morning Herald..When Fernando spots her in a Venice cafe and knows immediately that she is The One, Marlena de Blasi is caught off guard. A ...
'This true midlife romance reads like a fairytale.' - Sunday Life..'Replete with details of food and markets, with recipes appended, this is a sumptuous addition to the escape to Italy/France genre.' - Sydney Morning Herald..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 chef and food writer travelling in Italy, she is happy with her life. Yet within a few months of meeting Fernando, she quits her job, sells her house, kisses her two grown children goodbye, and moves to Venice to marry 'the stranger' as she calls Fernando. Once there, she finds herself sitting in sugar-scented pasticcerie, strolling through 16th-century palazzi, redecorating an apartment overlooking the Adriatic Sea and preparing for her wedding in an ancient stone church...But living this romantic dream is not always a smooth path. De Blasi is sometimes bewildered by the peculiarities of Venetian culture, and even mystified occasionally at the differences evident between she and Fernando. His Spartan tastes are a world away from the sensual delights she loves to create. Both set in their ways but also set on being together, they learn from each other what is important in their shared life...A Thousand Days in Venice is filled with the flavours, sights and life of Venice. In de Blasi's evocative prose every trip to the food markets becomes an adventure, and every mouth-watering recipe a celebration of food and love...'A richly joyous declaration of love.' - Who Weekly..'...a sensuous, beautifully written tale of love, lust and linguine.' - Harpers Bazaar
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Publishers Weekly, 2002-04-01 On a visit to Venice, de Blasi meets a local bank manager who falls in love with her at first sight. After "the stranger" (as she coyly calls him throughout the book) pursues her back to her home in St. Louis, Mo., she agrees to return to Italy and marry him, leaving behind her grown children and her job as chef and partner in a cafe. Although the banker, Fernando, lives in a bunkerlike postwar condominium on the Lido rather than the Venetian palazzo of her dreams, and some of his European ideas about women clash with her American temperament, the relationship works. She survives his criticism of her housekeeping and his displeasure at her insistence on remaining a serious cook (in modern Italy "No one bakes bread or dolci or makes pasta at home," he tells her), and they marry. Then one day Fernando surprises her by announcing that he is quitting his job at the bank where he has worked for 26 years. They leave Venice, he espouses her interest in food and they now direct gastronomic tours of Tuscany and Umbria. De Blasi's breathless descriptions of her improbable love affair can be cloying, but she makes up for these excesses with her enchanting accounts of Venice, especially of the markets at the Rialto. She conjures up vivid images of produce "so sumptuously laid as to be awaiting Caravaggio" and picturesque scenes of the vendors, such as the egg lady who keeps her hens under her table, collects the eggs as soon as they are laid and wraps each one in newspaper, "twisting both ends so that the confection looks like a rustic prize for a child's party." In a final section entitled "Food for a Stranger," de Blasi (Regional Foods of Northern Italy) includes recipes for a few of the dishes with which she charmed the stranger. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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