The familiar image of the Italian countryside - hills crowned with groups of tall cypresses and rambling stone houses - dates back to early medieval times. But all the main features of that landscape are still there, particularly in the countryside of Tuscany, where many of the houses featured can be found. The first part of the book explores the essential ingredients of the style, taking in colour and texture and looking at the inimitable mixture of simplicity and comfort evident in furniture and fabrics, and going on to admire the innate gift the Italians have for living outside. The second part looks in more detail at the individual country houses. Whether Rustic, Contemporary, Exotic or Traditional in character, these homes offer myriad ideas for interior decoration that are easily incorporated into other lives and cultures.Caroline Clifton-Mogg is the author of 'Italian Country Living' with ISBN 9781841728001 and ISBN 1841728004.