Alinari History of Italy
Università IULM Fratelli Alinari Università degli studi di Milano with the contribution of
Fondazione Cariplo

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  • Building workers on scaffolding of Villa il Salviatino, near Florence

    Building workers on scaffolding of Villa il Salviatino, near Florence

  • Portrait of married couple in ceremonial dress

    Portrait of married couple in ceremonial dress

  • Women workers in the Ceres factory that produces women's garments

    Women workers in the Ceres factory that produces women's garments

  • Florence. Collegio degli Scolopi. Group of students and teachers

    Florence. Collegio degli Scolopi. Group of students and teachers

  • A group of boys in Sambiase

    A group of boys in Sambiase

  • A Carpigiani machine for ice cream

    A Carpigiani machine for ice cream

  • Replo Commercial, Mestre

    Replo Commercial, Mestre

  • Two men on a tandem

    Two men on a tandem

  • Advertising campaign of the Fiat 500 Topolino (Serie C)

    Advertising campaign of the Fiat 500 Topolino (Serie C)

  • The Proclamation ceremony of the electing the new Pope Benedict XVI (born Joseph Alois Ratzinger), Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City

    The Proclamation ceremony of the electing the new Pope Benedict XVI (born Joseph Alois Ratzinger), Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City

  • Gaslini Institute, intensive therapy

    Gaslini Institute, intensive therapy

  • Elizabeth Arden's cosmetic stand sponsored by Alitalia

    Elizabeth Arden's cosmetic stand sponsored by Alitalia

  • Elio Toaff, Rome's rabbi

    Elio Toaff, Rome's rabbi

  • Advertising of Ideal Standard sanitaryware, Milan

    Advertising of Ideal Standard sanitaryware, Milan

  • The window of the dining room of a house Friuli Aviano, Pordenone

    The window of the dining room of a house Friuli Aviano, Pordenone

  • Bedroom Dwelling People

    Bedroom Dwelling People

  • Advertising of SIP telephones

    Advertising of SIP telephones

  • Pipes for construction

    Pipes for construction

  • The assembly line of Vespa in the Piaggio factory in Pontedera, Pisa

    The assembly line of Vespa in the Piaggio factory in Pontedera, Pisa

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Everyday life

In 1967 Fernand Braudel in his introduction to "Civiltà materiale e capitalismo" (Material Civilization and Capitalism), one of his most widely read books, observed that if, in a time machine situation, we were to spend a few hours in the company of Voltaire in Ferney we could indulge in conversation without dismay. With respect to ideas, "Eighteenth century men are our contemporaries". But if we had lingered on a day or two, the contrast between his customs and ours would have been dramatically striking: "great differences between us would arise: lighting at night, heating, transport, food, diseases, medicine..." and the dots indicate that the list is by no means complete. I believe this statement by one of the leading historians of the past century can lead the way to one who is about to "explore" a section which is in fact titled "Everyday life". Moving amidst economy and society the "visitor" can visually measure what is concealed behind the much-used terms such as modernization and development. He will see the landscape of a country which, when it was unified, was a poor country, still prevalently rural, in which the greater part of the population lived in miserable shacks without toilets and where schools, hospitals and most of the services we take for granted now, were non-existent. The same visitor will see how, gradually and amidst countless contrasts and contradictions, by effect of the power of the economy and markets and of the consequent action of the State, the picture of everyday life has changed, at first gradually, then increasingly faster until we get to the great transformation of the Fifties and Sixties of the 20th century that finally marks Italy’s entrance into the modern world. In the past 150 years, the country’s infrastructures have changed and with these so too have Italians: their bodies and their ideas, their customs and working conditions, their aspirations and their rights. All this has occurred within a journey towards the liberation from a condition of need which for women meant emancipation from an ancient subjection to a role which they seemed naturally relegated to. A many-sided and complex combination of issues offered to the "visitor" in the hope of generating further subjects for debate.

Route

  • Economy and employment

    In 1870 Italy had a population of about 28 million, a figure equal to 2.2% of the world population, against the 38-39 million in France and in Germany and about 31 million in... >>

  • Gender

    It might be obvious perhaps, but inevitable, to point out that history, until only a few years ago, was seen exclusively through male eyes. Women, with only few exceptions,... >>

  • Generations

    At the beginning of 2010, the Italian population had topped the 60 million threshold (60,626,442). One hundred and fifty years ago, at the time of the Unification, there were... >>

  • Consumption, lifestyles

    "Here people ate more and better than we did, we ate bread and tomatoes or bread and onions. Here instead, food was very different because what we would have once a year... >>

  • Mobility

    Today, globalisation has reduced the physical and cultural distances between different countries. One needs only to take a stroll in any big city to find an abundance of people... >>

  • Religion

    In the decades following the unification, relations between the Church and the ruling classes of the new state were tense and conflicting. The clash was not so much about... >>

  • Sociality

    After its unification, Italy was a country with a glorious past but with a poor and underdeveloped present compared with the greater European nations. The delay of an economy... >>

  • Body and care

    Amongst the many differences between Italy of today and the country that was founded one hundred and fifty years ago, one of the less obvious and well known is the height of... >>

  • Domestic landscapes

    A survey commissioned a few years ago to the Istituto Adhoc by the Salone del Mobile, "Dentro le case: mille case italiane nel 2000" (Inside the house, one thousand... >>

  • Technology

    Today we are all surrounded by and caught up in the technological network that supports the social system in which we live. In actual fact, technology, developed impetuously... >>


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