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KETCHUM, IDAHO(October 25, 2006) ~ Italy comes alive in the piazza. It is the true heart of Italy's culture and has been for centuries. Weddings, First Communions, birthdays, antique fairs, patron saint days, reenactments of medieval events, and everyday comings and goings are beautifully documented in a colorful, new book of photographs entitled Piazza: Italy's Heart & Soul.

Piazzas in a wide variety of towns are featured in the book, including the grand squares of Rome, Venice, and Florence as well as smaller piazzas in villages along the seaside, on lakeshores, nestled in the Alps, and perched on hillsides. Joel Siegel, entertainment critic for "Good Morning America" says, "I'm betting you'll be on the phone with your travel agent by page 15." Rusty Dornin, TV network correspondent, writes, "As you turn the pages, you can almost smell the espresso, hear the lively chatter of Italian school children, and feel the excitement of the towns' latest activities. Bravissimo!"

Marybeth Flower and Joe Bauwens, authors and photographers, share a long-held passion for Italy. They have made countless trips to the country over the past 15 years and devoted many years to researching and exploring the piazzas that appear in the book. Formerly Bay Area residents, they now live in Ketchum, Idaho, and travel to Italy as often as they can.

Piazza: Italy's Heart & Soul is published by Eccola Press, a small independent press specializing in travel and lifestyle books. It contains 250 dazzling photographs of Italy's town squares in vivid color.

To purchase a copy, visit your local bookstore or call 208-726-5104 for more information.