This is another fantastc book in the Culinaria series. I own their Spain, France, Europe, and of course, Italy volumes.
If you know these books, then here is the short review: It's excellent, buy it. For the uninitiated, this is as good as it gets for a full culinary tour of Italy. The pictures are beautiful, the stories interesting and educational, and the recipes are great too. Learn about the variety of Italian foods, the regions and their specialties (recipes, wines, cheeses, etc), as well as many other interesting stories (the origin of Harry's Bar). I cannot stress the excellence this book provides in the images, the organization, the culture, the background and so much more.
You'll learn about different vegetables, meats, fish, cheeses, wines, spices and some history every now and again. Even if you don't try the recipes, or even cook, this is an interesting book. It is big and heavy, but what would you expect from a book that covers all of Italy's regions? I don't know about the rumor from Utah (see below), but the book is that heavy.
Bottom line, these authors, photographers, publishers, etc. did an excellent job, and if you want a great well-written book for learning about Italian cooking, culinary styles and some of their culture, this is a must own.