A tour of Italy by a fascinated and bitingly critical English novelist (see Island of Desire, Summer in the Country, etc.) takes in the mid-northern towns which, except for Ravenna, are off the tourist path. To enjoy it, one need not want to see these towns in particular; what is required is an interest in people and the character of a place and the ability to take them or leave them. In church or cheese factory, or on the train marvelling at a fluttery compartment companion, Mrs. Templeton's bemused, sarcastic eye misses nothing. She goes about puncturing the falsely grandiose:- a second class hotel becomes differentiated from the first by being ""the only one in town."" She re-makes parmesan cheese so that the methods of processing it endear themselves to the reader who realizes that no machine can yet duplicate the temperature of a cool cellar, or the steam heated copper vats forming the lumps of chese which are then pressed by rocks found along the road. Nothing, really, equals her impressions of angry waiters and hotel clerks, of Baroque art or the connoisseur who will tell you that Raphael used a harlot as a model for this particular madonna, or of the basic education of a people who, in the meanest circumstances, will bring you a bowl laden with freshly washed fruit served on ice. A tasteful travelogue, to be geared to Italian interests for its widest sale, but not to be overlooked as a good item in the general non-fiction and humor markets.