"These volumes are so comprehensive that if an area seems absent from the index, thorough searching will likely uncover it. This accessible compilation of material offers incredible riches for advanced high school students, nonspecialist undergraduates, and general readers."
"With more than 700 pages of encyclopedia entries, as opposed to scholarly articles, this set is both comprehensive and accessible to readers. This series is recommended for public and academic libraries with patrons interested in culture and/or history."
"This unique reference work serves it purpose to introduce its themes to beginning students and general readers, as well as provide a starting point for research by undergraduates majoring in Italian history, fine arts, literature, and cultural studies. Summing Up: Recommended. High school through undergraduate students; general readers."
"This truly amazing work, full of fascinating facts and insightful observations on a wide range of topics, sheds much valuable light on the many and diverse aspects of daily life that people, both ordinary and elite, experienced in Renaissance Italy. We learn, for example, about cloth-making and what the ordinary folks wore on a daily basis, what they ate and drank, and how they managed their personal hygiene; we gain an appreciation of the role of art, music, and literature in society; we see how banks and trade functioned, as well as the vagaries of agricultural production and the sheep and wool industry; we gain insights into social and family structures, housing, marriages and dowries, birth and funereal rituals, wills and inheritances, childhood education, health concerns and medical practices, and many other topics. The emphasis is on daily life, and thus we find many important entries on political and religious institutions, the occupations of and recreational outlets for the populace, the devastation wrought by warfare and disease, scientific thought and technological advances, and a host of other engaging subjects. The beauty of these volumes lies in their comprehensive nature and detailed expositions. Indeed, we have here a wealth of information that shines a bright light on the historical period in question. The many and diverse topics are presented in an eminently readable style and are accompanied by numerous pertinent illustrations, and concise and helpful bibliographical indications conclude each entry. Moreover, the second volume contains a valuable set of readings from primary sources that will make individual entries come to life, as well as a listing of popes and major rulers and an extensive general bibliography. The World of Renaissance Italy is a treasure trove that provides answers for virtually all questions anyone might ever have about life on the Italian peninsula from the mid-fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries."