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Download The Lady in the Palazzo: At Home in Umbria Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Lady in the Palazzo: At Home in Umbria Audiobook, by Marlena de Blasi Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (485 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marlena de Blasi Narrator: Laural Merlington Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2007 ISBN: 9781400173433
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From village feasts and rustic tavernas to ancient piazzas and moonlit balconies, the smells and tastes and sounds and soul of Umbria come alive in bestselling author Marlena de Blasi's evocative memoir. By turns romantic and sensual, joyous and celebratory, touching and humorous, Marlena de Blasi's account of moving with her husband, Fernando, to Orvieto, the largest city in Italy's Umbria, will appeal to anyone who delights in travel and shares the fantasy of beginning a new life in a very different place. It is a tale of the couple's search for the right home-which turns out to be the former ballroom of a fifteenth=-century palazzo-and the right balance in their lives, in this case making friends of cooks, counts, shepherds, and a lone violinist. It is a tale, too, of an American woman finding her niche in a society bound by tradition and seemingly closed to outsiders. With a voice full of wonder, de Blasi brings to life these engagingly quirky people and the aloof, almost daunting society that exists in Umbria. Not since Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence has a writer so convincingly captures the essence of a singular place and created a feast for readers of all stripes. "Vivid writing and an affectionate appreciation of the sounds, scenes and flavors of Italy."-Publishers Weekly Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Listeners will enjoy Laural Merlington’s down-to-earth, expert narration…Merlington’s presentation inspires a love of Italy and caresses its language.”

    AudioFile

  • Merlington's Italian accent is believable as she portrays both haughty aristocrats and simple shepherds. Her pacing is just right, unhurried but not poky; ultimately, the author's fondness for her adopted country shines through. Booklist
  • “Merlington’s Italian accent is believable as she portrays both haughty aristocrats and simple shepherds. Her pacing is just right, unhurried but not poky; ultimately, the author’s fondness for her adopted country shines through.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane C. | 2/17/2014

    " I love the way she describes life, food and culture in Italy. Despite her comments about needing to earn a living, writing, taking tourists around Umbria and Tuscany, she seems to have enough $$ to shop for expensive tailor made clothes in Florence and travel when she needs to, and her world seems a bit priveleged and insular. But her prose is sensual, lovely and makes you feel like you are there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 GraceAnne | 2/9/2014

    " I do love this woman's style. She writes in the most luscious way about food and the making of it, about Italians and their way of it, about adoring texture, and scent, and memory. All of her books are lovely, and this one is, too. Start with A Thousand Days in Venice though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sunni | 2/9/2014

    " I have not enjoyed this one as much as her earlier books. While she still has a wonderfully "delicious" way with words (cooking is her forte), this story of people and place just didn't engage me as much. I was also distracted by the reader when she imitated the voices of Italian men...she sounded more like Count Dracula than an Italian! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy | 2/8/2014

    " I WANT A SECOND HOME IN NORTHERN ITALY !!! and a handsome man to be in love with ! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Felicia | 2/2/2014

    " Way too long and nothing ever happens. I guess she's a good writer--very descriptive--but so self-indulgent. I couldn't relate to someone that spoiled. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 1/30/2014

    " A delightful series of books! The travel, romance, and recipies were all wonderful. I plan to reread the series in the fall. Interesting and a very soothing to read...also made me want to try new foods and recipies!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Meredith Henning | 1/17/2014

    " Just couldn't muster the energy for this one, got bored I guess, too many other things on my plate to read :) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 1/15/2014

    " After reading (and loving) A Thousand Days in Venice and A Thousand Days in Tuscany, I was very disappointed with this one. I struggled to get through it. Hopefully Sicily is better... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sunni | 1/14/2014

    " Although I liked her book on Venice; I just couldn't get into this one at all. Seemed way too melodramatic and like she was really trying to make a story where there isn't one. As always, I enjoy her food descriptions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathi | 1/8/2014

    " Makes me wan tot be in Italy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 12/29/2013

    " I enjoyed this book but not having read her before I felt like she kept writing about people or stories that I didn't know. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauren | 12/6/2013

    " Good book but my least favorite of those she's written "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Louise | 11/25/2013

    " Another magnificently lush memoir by Marlena about her life in Umbria. Her description of rustic, Italian cuisine makes my mouth water. Molto bene! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 11/25/2013

    " Loved this book. Visited the city in Italy that the author writes about. Here's a quote that I really liked from p. 7 "Miranda is nearly seventy, and the man she taunts is past eighty. Both will tell you that they are younger now that they are older, that a life lived well moves backward." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire | 9/6/2013

    " I long to live like this...in Italy among art, literature, and neverending food & wine. I would love to live meal to meal on the abundant freshness of the earth. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Enia | 8/24/2013

    " While the writing is not artful, Marlena does capture some of the Italian mindset through her characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patty | 8/14/2013

    " Now I have read all three of de Blasi's books about living in Italy and I am sorry there are no more. Her writing is luscious and thoughtful; her spirit generous and wild; and her recipes enticing. Absolutely lovely all round. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Roberta | 8/1/2013

    " This writer drives me crazy. she's so cloyingly coy about herself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 6/16/2013

    " When Marlena and her husband, a Venetian, decide to leave Venice, they rent an apartment in a palazzo in Orvieto. THis is their story and it is amusing dealing with the strange Italians, cooking some great food, and living in an Umbrian city. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynne | 6/2/2013

    " I enjoyed this book but I would have appreciated it more if I had read the previous books first. There is definitely a presumption that you already know the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 A. | 3/20/2013

    " Found this interesting and well-written, technically, but weirdly paced. The second half was way more enjoyable than the first. But there are other authors writing about Italy that I'll go to before I go back to de Blasi. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annette | 3/6/2013

    " I bought this book in a bookstore in Orvieto, just a few steps from the Palazzo of the title. It was an enchanting memoir of the author, the city, and the people she meets and becomes friends with. Make me want to go back to Orvieto some day, a town I was in love with even before reading her book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keri | 1/6/2013

    " This was a wonderful book. Every description captured my imagination and I could see what she was describing. I loved everything about this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sylvie | 11/12/2012

    " I share your textile fetish Marlena! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 10/24/2012

    " This book got better as it went along. Enjoyed the descriptions of the food and recipes at the end of the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 4/12/2012

    " OK, sell the house and cash in the retirement fund, I'm moving to Umbria. What a delicious read! Manga "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire | 8/14/2011

    " Very pretty writing - if a little overblown (I don't mind it at all here). A little repetitive compared to earlier memoirs. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tammy | 5/19/2011

    " Once again a favorite from this author - Loved the characters, the stories of food, relationships, architecture - Can I come stay in the Palazzo? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy | 4/24/2011

    " I WANT A SECOND HOME IN NORTHERN ITALY !!! and a handsome man to be in love with ! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 4/16/2011

    " A delightful series of books! The travel, romance, and recipies were all wonderful. I plan to reread the series in the fall. Interesting and a very soothing to read...also made me want to try new foods and recipies!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce | 3/11/2011

    "
    An amazing book. I urge everyone to read. I feel like I experienced Italy with every chapter. I shall read her other books. Hope they are as good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl | 3/8/2011

    " The characters were clear and real. The writing pulled me in and made me feel as if I were sitting at the tables enjoying the rustic meals. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 1/7/2011

    " The story of Marlena and Fernando as they move from Tuscany to Oveito in Umbria. Loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Di | 12/17/2010

    " A third in Marlena's series of her life in Italy. Different and yet the same, in an excellent way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barb | 11/24/2010

    " i was on a theme weekend...this and Michael Tucker's book...great food references, amazing detail of characters. I am ready to move to Umbria... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dcl55 | 9/24/2010

    " I enjoyed reading al of these books! the style and pace of the "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 9/19/2010

    " After reading (and loving) A Thousand Days in Venice and A Thousand Days in Tuscany, I was very disappointed with this one. I struggled to get through it. Hopefully Sicily is better... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 7/25/2010

    "

    When Marlena and her husband, a Venetian, decide to leave Venice, they rent an apartment in a palazzo in Orvieto. THis is their story and it is amusing dealing with the strange Italians, cooking some great food, and living in an Umbrian city. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 1/4/2010

    " This book got better as it went along. Enjoyed the descriptions of the food and recipes at the end of the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roberta | 12/7/2009

    " One of three "travel-memoirs" by a wonderful chef who used to live in St. Louis. A very romantic, creative woman. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carla | 11/3/2009

    " I absolutely adored this book. I felt like I was living in the story. She is so colorful in her writing that it just draws you in. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carla | 10/13/2009

    " Just got a few pages in. Subject matter good, but style meandering not good. So many better books in the food and house in Italy genre. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Saturday's | 10/7/2009

    " What surprised me is that I did not enjoy this one and I thought that I would as I have enjoyed some of her other work. "

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About the Author

Marlena de Blasi, who has worked as a chef and food and wine consultant, is the author of three previous memoirs, A Thousand Days in Venice, A Thousand Days in Tuscany, and The Lady in the Palazzo. She lives in the Umbrian hilltown of Orvieto with her Venetian husband, Fernando.

About the Narrator

Laural Merlington is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator with over two hundred titles to her credit. An Audie Award nominee, she has also directed over one hundred audiobooks. She teaches college in her home state of Michigan.