a recent study, Tuscany is perceived by foreigners as a 'landscape of great beauty and environmental quality where everything has retained a human dimension', revolving around 'the artistic, historic and cultural centre of Florence, transposed from the Renaissance to the contemporary age'. This book does not dwell on the region's famous products, it does not narrate once again its eventful and colourful history, nor focus on the sumptuous art works that comprise what is the finest and most extensive collection in the world. It does not extol to excess the unequalled atmosphere of the landscape nor is it over-emphatic in its praise of the region's intrinsic sense of harmonious physical and mental proportion. What it does seek to do is to tie together these and other characteristics in order to grasp what concretely derives from them today, namely a style of life. This is the region's most precious quality, the specificity of a productive and innovative Tuscany fully integrated into the complexities of the contemporary age. Here art and crafts, tradition and innovation, nature and history, language and products, city and countryside blend together, giving living form to a quality of life which is now the rarest and most sought after of all commodities, one where it is possible to attain a greater sense of individual well-being and a more ordered and civil coexistence.