American chef and author of A Thousand Days in Venice moves to rural Tuscany, where she and her husband discover village secrets of food, life, and love. Searching for the rhythms of country living, American chef Marlena de Blasi and her Venetian husband, Fernando, move to a barely renovated former stable in Tuscany. 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. In A Thousand Days in Tuscany, de Blasi brings us along as she and Fernando harvest grapes, gather chestnuts, forage for wild mushrooms, and climb trees in the cold of December to pick olives, one by one. They befriend the mesmeric Barlozzo, a self-styled village chieftain whose stories lead de Blasi deeper into the soul of Tuscany. Together they visit sacred festivals and taste just-pressed olive oil, drizzled over roasted country bread. 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 and ancient health potions, 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.
An American chef meets the love of her life among the beautiful canals and exquisite cuisine of Venice—“better than a romance novel, it’s the real thing” (New Orleans Times-Picayune). Fernando first sees Marlena across the Piazza San Marco and falls in love from afar. When he sees her again in a Venice café a year later, he knows it’s fate. He knows little English; she, a divorced American chef traveling through Italy, speaks only food-based Italian. Marlena thought she was done with romantic love, incapable of intimacy. Yet within months of their first meeting, she quits her job, sells her house in St. Louis, kisses her two grown sons goodbye, and moves to Venice to marry “the stranger,” as she calls Fernando. This deliciously satisfying memoir is filled with the foods and flavors of Italy and peppered with culinary observations and recipes. But the main course here is an enchanting true story about a woman who falls in love with both a man and a city, and finally finds the home she didn’t even know she was missing. “An irresistible grown-up love story.” —USA Today
From the author of the bestselling A Thousand Days in Venice, these are the further adventures of Marlena and Fernando and their experiences as they move to a small village in Tuscany. Another delicious combination of authentic Italian life, food, recipes, love and memoir.
On a forgotten patch of earth where Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio collide, Marlena de Blasi settles with her Venetian husband, Fernando, in search of a new life. The routines they establish are not that different from those of villagers centuries earlier. They wake at dawn to harvest grapes, gather chestnuts, forage for wild mushrooms. And they climb trees in the cold of December to pick olives. Yet it is the friendship of the mesmeric Barlozzo, a self-styled village chieftain of sorts, that leads them deep into the heart of Tuscany. Barlozzo shares his knowledge of Italian farming traditions, ancient health potions and artisanal food makers. This real-life memoir (plus recipes) is the sequel to the acclaimed A Thousand Days in Venice.
The next volume of memoir from the author of the international bestseller A Thousand Days in Venice introduces the extraordinary Antonia, imperious matriach of four generations of strong-willed Tuscan women The renovations to 34 via del Duomo now complete, Marlena de Blasi, the bestselling international author and "the woman with the fairy-tale life" needs to find time and space to finish a book. Lured by the offer of a simple stone cottage in the remote, mountainous region of western Tuscany, distant from the distractions of her everyday life with Fernando in Orvieto, she sets off for some much-needed solitude. But her plans to live simply, in peace and quiet, are overturned when she meets the imperious, tempestuous Antonia, the still-stunning, elderly matriarch of a large, complicated family of four generations of beautiful blue-eyed Italian women, all with stories and ideas of their own. Antonia dislikes tourists and outsiders, and so Marlena at first spars and clashes with her before they reach an understanding. Over feasts and family dinners, walking in the dark before sunrise to harvest wild lettuces, preparing meals and exchanging recipes, the two women joust, joke, exchange confidences, and grow closer and closer until finally Antonia reveals the terrible secrets behind the vivid beauty of Il Castelleto. Evocative, powerful, and haunting, this is a compelling insight into Italy's recent past and a revealing glimpse into one extraordinary woman's story and her kitchen.
A tale of love, food, renovations, recipes and wine from the author of the best-selling A Thousand Days in Venice. A lush and evocative account of when Marlena moved with her beloved Fernando to the beautiful town of Orvieto, in Umbria.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “At villa Donnafugata, long ago is never very far away,” writes bestselling author Marlena de Blasi of the magnificent if somewhat ruined castle in the mountains of Sicily that she finds, accidentally, one summer while traveling with her husband, Fernando. There de Blasi is befriended by Tosca, the patroness of the villa, an elegant and beautiful woman-of-a-certain-age who recounts her lifelong love story with the last prince of Sicily descended from the French nobles of Anjou. Sicily is a land of contrasts: grandeur and poverty, beauty and sufferance, illusion and candor. In a luminous and tantalizing voice, That Summer in Sicily re-creates Tosca’s life, from her impoverished childhood to her fairy-tale adoption and initiation into the glittering life of the prince’s palace, to the dawning and recognition of mutual love. But when Prince Leo attempts to better the lives of his peasants, his defiance of the local Mafia’s grim will to maintain the historical imbalance between the haves and the have-nots costs him dearly. The present-day narrative finds Tosca sharing her considerable inherited wealth with a harmonious society composed of many of the women–now widowed–who once worked the prince’s land alongside their husbands. How the Sicilian widows go about their tasks, care for one another, and celebrate the rituals of a humble, well-lived life is the heart of this book. Showcasing the same writerly gifts that made bestsellers of A Thousand Days in Venice and A Thousand Days in Tuscany, That Summer in Sicily, and de Blasi’ s marvelous storytelling, remind us that in order to live a rich life, one must embrace both life’s sorrow and its beauty. Here is an epic drama that takes readers from Sicily’s remote mountains to chaotic post-war Palermo, from the intricacies of forbidden love to the havoc wreaked by Sicily’s eternally bewildering culture. From the Hardcover edition.
“It has always been true for me that to know a place, I must first know how it eats and drinks. Everything unravels at the table.” –Marlena de Blasi Marlena de Blasi’s lifelong affair with cooking began at age nine on a beach along the coast of southern Italy, where she met an elderly woman roasting potatoes coated with olive oil, rosemary, and sea salt over an open fire. Now, in A Taste of Southern Italy, de Blasi brings to life the spirit as well as the cuisine of this bountiful region. With de Blasi we travel down remote country goat paths in tiny island villages and along sun-washed avenues of great cities in search of some of the most treasured recipes in the world. This is as much a storybook as it is a cookbook: a gathering of small rhapsodies, impressions, and romantic notions from a land where such delights are plentiful. In our journey through the kitchens of southern Italy we find tantalizing recipes for a host of mouthwatering dishes, including Gnocchi di Castagne con Porcini Trifolati Insalata di Pesce Dove il Mare Non C’é Pane di Altamura Frittelle di Ricotta e Rhum alla Lucana Peperoni Arrostiti Ripieni La Vera Pizza Pomodori alla Brace Pesce Spada sulla Brace alla Pantesca Ricotta Forte Pasta alla Pecoraio La Torta Antica Ericina Un Gelato Barocco With these authentic recipes at your fingertips, you can master the luscious tastes and rustic ambiance of southern Italy. These dishes are sure to become a tradition in your home, and will fill it with tantalizing aromas and love. From the Hardcover edition.
The chef and author of A Thousand Days in Tuscany takes in the flavor of Umbria while fixing up a dilapidated palazzo with her husband—includes recipes. Marlena di Blasi seduced readers to fall in love with Venice, then Tuscany, with her critically acclaimed books about her experiences in those enchanting Italian regions. Now she takes readers on a journey into the heart of Orvieto, an ancient city in the less-trodden region of Umbria. Rich with history and a vivid sense of place, her tale is by turns romantic and sensual, joyous and celebratory, as she and her husband search for a home in this city on a hill—finding one that turns out to be the former ballroom of a dilapidated sixteenth-century palazzo. Along the way, de Blasi befriends an array of colorful characters, including cooks, counts, shepherds, and a lone violinist—cooking her way into the hearts of her Umbrian neighbors. Brimming with life and kissed by romance, The Lady in the Palazzo perfectly captures the essence of a singular place and offers up a feast—and the recipes to prepare it!—for readers of all stripes.
This unique guide to one of today’s hottest tourist destinations combines fascinating articles by a wide variety of writers, woven throughout with the editor’s own indispensable advice and opinions—providing in one package an unparalleled experience of an extraordinary place. This edition on Tuscany and Umbria features: ● Articles, interviews, recipes, and quotes from writers, visitors, residents, and experts on the region, including Frances Mayes, Mario Batali, Erica Jong, Barbara Ohrbach, Faith Willinger, and David Leavitt. ● In-depth pieces about Florence and the hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria that illuminate the simple pleasures of local cuisine, the dazzling art treasures of the Uffizi, the civilized wilderness of Tuscan back roads, the many varieties of olive oil, the endearing quirks of the Italian character, and much more. ● Enticing recommendations for further reading, including novels, histories, memoirs, coookbooks, and guidebooks. ● An A–Z Miscellany of concise and entertaining information on everything from biscotti to Super-Tuscan wine, from the history of the Medicis to traveling with children. ● Spotlights on unusual shops, restaurants, hotels, and experiences not to be missed. ● More than a hundred black-and-white photographs and illustrations. From the Trade Paperback edition.