This publication in no way claims to give an exhaustive account of a wide-ranging and complex topic such as Italy's art. There is no other country in the world which has an artistic tradition that shows such a consistently high level of continuity and, at the same time, one that is characterized by such decisive innovation that have really marked the major milestones in the stages of growth of human civilization. Take the examples of Romanesque, the Renaissance, or names like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, cities like Rome, Florence, Venice: periods and names which flourished on the strength of earlier and lofty artistic traditions, and which in turn have given birth to new horizons in the world of the arts. Moreover, it is a recognized fact that Italy has no equal in the way its art heritage is so evenly distributed throughout the whole county, in all the regions, the major cities and even the small towns, right down to the tiniest islands and most far-removed villages, in which works of art are nearly always there for the asking- works of prime importance very often, apart from being authentic treasures of the local art traditions of great beauty and charm. The details given in the chapters that follow and in geographical lists which go with them are merely to help the traveller through Italy to recall to mind that succession of historical and stylistic developments in Italian art and the names of leading protagonists, and to identify the most important towns linked with these various periods. The number of museums and the choice of illustrations has necessarily had to be kept to the bare minumim for reasons which the reader can well appreciate, in dealing with a subject to which whole libraries have been devoted. "

- Art in Italy, published by ENIT, Italian state Tourist Department circa approx 1978