A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure
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They had met and married on perilously short acquaintance, she an American chef and food writer, he a Venetian banker. Now they were taking another audacious leap, unstitching their ties with exquisite Venice to live in a roughly renovated stable in Tuscany.
Once again, it was love at first sight. Love for the timeless countryside and the ancient village of San Casciano dei Bagni, for the local vintage and the magnificent cooking, for the Tuscan sky and the friendly church bells. Love especially for old Barlozzo, the village mago, who escorts the newcomers to Tuscany’s seasonal festivals; gives them roasted country bread drizzled with just-pressed olive oil; invites them to gather chestnuts, harvest grapes, hunt truffles; and teaches them to caress the simple pleasures of each precious day. It’s Barlozzo who guides them across the minefields of village history and into the warm and fiercely beating heart of love itself.
A Thousand Days in Tuscany is set in one of the most beautiful places on earth–and tucked into its fragrant corners are luscious recipes (including one for the only true bruschetta) directly from the author’s private collection.
the possibility to live with this balance, but it’s here, right here, where we’ve come to look for it. And so we packed up the fickle stretches of time and gleams of light we think might remain for us and we ran hard and fast to this place. We’ve come because we think it might be here where we can learn which way progress runs. Our suspicion is strong that there is a greater peace in going backward. We’ll see. What we know already is that life is a mayfly, flitting. We’ll caress each day into its
plastic bucket, a squeeze mop, and at least one specimen of every gel and foam and spray and wax that promises pine-scented refuge from household dirt. This is a pittance. Our neighbors disappear and soon return with their own arms. Liter-size plastic bottles of pink alcohol, plastic bags full of what seem to be filthy rags, industrial-size mops and brooms. Soon there are three window washers, a sweeper on each floor, with moppers at the ready. The restoration of the house had been completed
last espresso. All in all, a moderate feast.” I’ve barely, if at all, larded the truth in my telling of the story and am rewarded with polite applause and many repetitions of incredible in Dutch. I think the duke enjoyed hearing me recount impressions in Italian to Hollanders who speak the language in what he calls the sopravvivenza, survival style, when I could have spoken more easily in English, which they all understand and speak quite well. Of couse he takes this as a show of deference to
inclination for succor. And so we sit together, the farmers and their families and I, as if in the waiting room of a wizard. And all we talk of is olive oil. At one point, looking to build a bridge between the old world and the new, I open discourse about America, saying that the medical community advises the consumption of extra virgin olive oil to help lower the evil side of blood cholesterol. To a person, the circle looks at me with something near to mercy, and so I scurry on with news of
woods, over the mountain roads. He must have simply showed up at the door one day. Situated as we were outside the town, our house—your house—would have seemed a relatively safe one in which to ask for water or a place to sleep. Perhaps she was out in the garden hanging the wash and he caught sight of her. She was beautiful. All that dark hair piled up on top of her head, eyes like a doe. He would have found her irresistible. That part of the story is hardly rare. “And maybe the rest of the