The Lady in the Palazzo by Marlena de Blasi
At Home in Umbria

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Marlena di Blasi seduced readers to fall in love with Venice, then Tuscany, with her popular and critically acclaimed books A Thousand Days in Venice and A Thousand Days in Tuscany. 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 and counts and 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.

About Marlena de Blasi

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An American chef and food and wine journalist, Marlena de Blasi has written five memoirs, a novel, and two books about the regional foods of Italy. She lives with her husband in the Umbrian hilltown of Orvieto. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages.
Published May 27, 2008 by Algonquin Books. 317 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Action & Adventure, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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After A Thousand Days in Venice (2002) and A Thousand Days in Tuscany (2004), de Blasi and her husband move to Umbria, a place where “stories and sins are passed down like sets of silver.” There, they enter into a complex, decidedly Italian contract with a local family, the storied Ubaldini, who ...

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Entertainment Weekly

Her robust appetite for life saturates the book — as she writes, ''if I, myself, were not delighted, what delight would I have to give?'' — but occasionally her enthusiasm leads to scenery chewing, her own bella vita overwhelming the culture and people about which she is writing.

Jan 19 2007 | Read Full Review of The Lady in the Palazzo: At H...

The Bookbag

Summary: Voluptuous, warm, inviting, sometimes rueful, de Blasi's third book about life, love, and cuisine across Italy is everything a fan of the genre could wish it to be but perhaps lacks that spark that could lift it into a book that everyone will want to read.

Dec 03 2012 | Read Full Review of The Lady in the Palazzo: At H...

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