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This volume deals with the monetary history of Italy from its independence in 1861 to 1992. It provides the first complete analysis of a country which has experienced diverse and often dramatic monetary conditions. The authors interpret Italian monetary history through the looking glass of a model which, while monetarist in flavour, is open to other interpretations. A key theme is that public finance is at the root of the (relatively) high Italian inflation rates. The authors argue that there is a strong relationship between the government budget deficit and monetary policy, and that the monetary authorities are too dependent on government. The book contributes in a novel way not only to the monetary debate, but also to fiscal and institutional questions. It combines economic theory, statistical data and history in an accessible way which should prove useful to both economic historians and monetary economists.