Andrea Palladio's designs are the centre of this illustrated book which reveals the villas built in the Veneto region of Italy. Thirty villas are featured inside and out - grand palazzos built for Venice's patrician rulers as well as smaller country houses originally owned by wealthy merchants. The villas of the Veneto, the area surrounding Venice, Padua, Treviso and Vicenza - reached a peak of perfection in the sixteenth century. They were built by prosperous Venetians who, feeling claustrophobic in Venice, spent the spring and autumn inland. In the extent to which the villas revived the forms of classical architecture they surpassed those anywhere else in Italy. The result was that the architecture of these country houses, particularly the work of Palladio, had a profound influence throughout the world. This book reveals aspects of these houses not normally on view to the public. Pictured here are the elaborate "trompe l'oeil" frescoes that decorate many of the interiors and also the parks and gardens. Reinhart Wolf, the architectural photographer, worked on "Faces of Buildings", "New York" and "Castillos". He has received many awards and exhibitions of his work have been held worldwide. Peter Lauritzen is an art historian. His books include "Palaces of Venice", "Venice Preserved" and "1,000 Years of Culture and Civilization".