Palladian Days: Finding a New Life in a Venetian Country House - Sally Gable

In 1552, in the countryside outside Venice, the great Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio built Villa Cornaro. In 1989, Sally and Carl Gable became its bemused new owners. Called by Town & Country one of the ten most influential buildings in the world, the villa is the centerpiece of the Gables’ enchanting journey into the life of a place that transformed their own. From the villa’s history and its architectural pleasures, to the lives of its former inhabitants, to the charms of the little town that surrounds it, this loving account brings generosity, humor, and a sense of discovery to the story of small-town Italy and its larger national history.





Palladian Days is a memoir discussing the author's decision to relocate to Venice, Italy with her husband to buy and restore Villa Cornaro, a once lavish estate, built by Andrea Palladio, that dates back to the 16th century. Their search for a retirement property originally took them through the states of New Hampshire and Vermont, but opportunity knocked and presented them with this Italian option not previously on the proverbial table. Prior to Gable and her husband purchasing the home, Town & Country magazine had named Villa Cornaro one of the ten most influential buildings in the world.


Naturally, one can expect that there's going to be some tone of privileged status to the writing... these folks are buying a historic villa after all! Gable doesn't disappoint, giving readers details on a "family vacation" that extends over the course of 3 weeks, traveling through not only Venice but also the lovely town of Florence. The way she illustrates herself and husband Carl reminded me something of the Bouquets from Keeping Up Appearances LOL


Full disclosure here: For nights on end, I repeatedly dozed off while trying to get through this book. Also note that the book is not all that long and I've had a lifelong sleep disorder that typically keeps me up reading through the wee hours of the night most nights. But I just found this SO DULL. I found Gable's writing style pretty dry, killing my interest in what otherwise seems like could have been a pretty cool story.


For those who like books that include bonus recipes to try, Gable does offer a few at the back of this book.