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Continuing from A Thousand Days in Venice, this is the story of Marlena and her Venetian husband, Fernando, as they make a life for themselves in rural Tuscany. Amongst the many people they befriend is Barluzzo, an old sage who takes the couple under his wing and initiates them in the age-old traditions of Tuscan life: since their house lacks electricity, he helps them build a traditional brick oven in the garden; in autumn he wakes them at dawn to gather chestnuts and porcini mushrooms, and at the onset of winter he takes them to pull grapes from the vines and beat olives from the trees. Beautifully written and richly seasoned with mouth-watering recipes of the region, this book is filled with the carpe diem attitude that so captivated readers of A Thousand Days in Venice.
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.