By Marella Caracciolo

Clarkson Potter, $60.00, 224 pages

Only a true Italian, or at least one at heart, could pull off this magnificent work; For the Love of Italy: Rural Pleasures and Hotel Estates by Marella Caracciolo and photographs by Oberto Gili. The authenticity of this pleasurable architectural book allows you to feel the lifestyle of Italy and all its many parts in its truest form not from a touristic point of view. The originators of this book obviously did not intend to woo anyone to Italy’s sightseer attractions but to the heart of Italy and the people who make their home there. Bold, poignant photographs jump out as you turn the pages giving you the spirit of every area of Italy in its most raw form; some impoverished, some decadent, some artful but always with virtuoso exquisiteness. Superlative architectural design, home décor, historic charm and ornate garden spaces color this book both in illustration and in prose. One would surely glean romance and history with just a hint of eclectic design oozing from inside the covers of this book.

Reviewed by M. Chris Johnson,