With stunning photography, Italy: An Amazing Place looks at Italy's most famous architectural, archaeological, and artistic sites, studying the ways they intersect to form cultural and civic identity--while reveling in their incredible beauty. Palaces and castles, villas and abbeys, churches and archaeological complexes: Italy's signature structures tell extraordinary stories and are crucial to understanding its cities and cultures. One of the defining aspects of Italy's art is its widespread distribution throughout the country. Indeed, Italy is a nation densely populated by extraordinary examples of art and architecture , and this network of treasures includes extraordinary symbolic structures, true universal icons that are known and loved around the world. These masterpieces are seen from a new perspective, in the context of their history and the cities and towns around them . Artistic, social, and human angles are covered. This book pays homage to the eternal beauty of Italy's signature architectural works, which for centuries have relayed a message of serene beauty and human potential. Many times it has been noted that one of the most distinctive things about Italy's great artistic heritage is that the art and architectural works that comprise it are so evenly distributed throughout the country, so that Italy itself is a kind of open-air museum. There are impressive works to be seen everywhere, from its major cities to its smallest towns and most isolated country villages . That's actually unsurprising, given the incredibly varied geography of this nation, home to the highest mountains in Europe, nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, with a wide variety of landscapes, climates, and historical and cultural backgrounds . Even the smaller locales are rich in sites and structures in numerous styles and reflect an array of models. A building, cathedral, castle, or archaeological complex becomes great when it stands as a memorable example that endures over time and expresses the needs, hopes, and dreams of the person who conceived of it and built it. A masterpiece clearly speaks to its original era, but also lives in the present. It fills us with emotion and tells us stories about the people who came before us--bonding us to the city and even the country where it is located. Examples of astounding mastery of visual mediums fill the pages of this book--Italy, it seems, has a limitless supply of buildings and other structures that move us, excite us, and claim our hearts forever.