Escape to Venice
A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi
Why I loved it: One of the most enjoyable memoirs I’ve read, this story is about a woman who, through life’s twist and turns, travels to Venice, falls in love, and “finds the home she didn’t know she was missing.” Many Italy lovers already know of this book and have it on their bookshelves, so this isn’t great late-breaking information. I consider it an Italian classic. And I read this book a good nine years ago. It, along with other literary finds, and transportive movies served to pour more fuel on my desire to dismantle my American life and move to Italy. I had to remind myself that this wasn’t Italian fiction and this story really happened. It further ignited the flame that Italy, too, could re-render my life in unimagined ways.
Escape to Venice in the story of this author, Marlena, a divorced American chef traveling around Italy. She speaks Italian, but primarily Italian as it pertains to the kitchen. She’s convinced that romantic love is a distant speck in the rearview mirror and that she’s unable to swim in the depths of intimacy anyway. Then, an Italian man falls in love from afar when he first spies Marlena across the Piazza San Marco.
Food, wine, love, and unexpected outcomes make an ultimate recipe of satisfaction. If you love Italy, if you love Venice, and if you’re pondering a life change to move here, I highly recommend that you read this book. The author has since written several additional engaging Italian-themed novels. But start with this one. Get to know Marlena through this engaging memoir.
“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).
“An irresistible grown-up love story.” —USA Today