If there is one cookbook that belongs on th e bookshelf of every kitchen, it's an Italian cookbook. No other cuisine in the worl d holds a wider appeal to professional and amateur cooks. Also, with the success of such recent books as Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes, the in terest in regional Italian cooking and culture is at an all-time high. Lavishly designed, oversized and with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for over 230 recipes, Regional Italian Cuisine, written by a quartet of esteemed cooking w riters and editors, travels to and beyond the sun-drenched fields of Tuscany to feat ure dishes that cover other Italian regions known for delicious food. Twenty-one Italian regions are broken up into eight chapters. Each chapter includes an introduction to the historical, cultural and geographical impact on the local cui sine. Along with understanding how the cuisine has evolved, a glimpse of the persona lity and lifestyle of the people of each region is provided. Tips for culinary sightseeing and events are also included. Finally, typical regional recipes are presented. Readers will enjoy learning how to cook risotto dishes and make unique cheeses and sausages from the Po Valley. The Abruzzi, Molise and Apulia regions are also included , with mouth-watering meat and fish dishes and instructions for how to season meals with locally grown peppers and a dizzying array of olive oils, most now available in North America. Of course no festival of food would be complete without an explo ration of the food of the Marche, Umbria and most notably Tuscany. With this beautif ul, user-friendly cookbook, readers will have so much fun preparing dinner that in n o time many will be delighting in one of the book's most treasured recipe's Bistecca al Fiorentina. Along with regional and local fare, Italian food lovers will be preparing dishes from soup to nuts, associated with such ancient Italian locales as Genoa, Milan, Bologn a, Florence, Rome and Naples, thanks to the clearly presente d recipes. Full-color photographs of Italy's breathtaking cityscapes, coastal region s and countryside further enhance the culinary experience. Books on regional European cooking and culture continue to be popular, with such recent titles as Encore Provence by Peter Mayle and Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes ensc onced on the New York Times bestseller list. Now with the publication of Regional It alian Cuisine there is finally a book that will please the professional chef, amateur cook and lover of fine dining.