Aesthetics deals with art, a human construction, but what one experiences when placed before nature is also an aesthetic feeling - the countryside is a place of reflection like no other. In The Art of the Landscape, Raffaele Milani interprets natural landscapes as an aesthetic category. Drawing from philosophical traditions, literature, and art, he calls the reader's attention to a special consciousness, originally established during the pre-Romantic age, that has become a distinctive feature of contemporary spirituality. Focusing on the definition of landscapes in relation to the concepts of nature, environment, territory, and man-made settings such as gardens and cities, Milani examines the origins of the predilection for natural scenery in the works of landscape painters and in travel literature. He addresses the distinctness of the aesthetic experience of landscapes, analyses the role of aesthetic categories, and explores landscape art as a medium of contemplation. What emerges is an original morphology of natural beauty derived from the scrutiny of landscape elements most frequently associated with aesthetic emotion - the colour of water and the sky, earth and stones, fire and volcanic eruptions, ruins and the mountains - an analysis especially relevant given the increasing fragility of our natural environment.