Everyone loves Italian food. But how did the Italians come to eat so well? The advertising industry tells us the answer lies in the vineyards and olive groves of Tuscany - among sun-weathered peasants, and mammas serving pasta under the pergola. Yet this nostalgic fantasy has little to do with the real history of Italian cuisine. Because Italian food is city food. And telling its story means telling the story of the Italians as a people of city dwellers. For a thousand years, Italy's cities have been magnets for everything that makes for great eating: ingredients, talent, money, and power. In "Delizia!" the author of the acclaimed "Cosa Nostra" takes a revelatory historical journey through the flavours of Italy's cities. From the bustle of Medieval Milan, to the bombast of Fascist Rome; from the pleasure gardens of Renaissance Ferrara, to the putrid alleyways of nineteenth-century Naples. In rich slices of urban life, "Delizia!" shows how violence and intrigue, as well as taste and creativity, went to make the world's favourite cuisine. With its mix of vivid story-telling, ground-breaking research and shrewd analysis, John Dickie's "Delizia!" is as appetising as the dishes it describes.