Bring back some good or bad memories


June 27, 2018

Everyday Life of Italy in the Late 1950s Through the Lens of a New Zealander

Italy in the early 1950s was a very poor country. During World War Two, Italy - ruled by the Fascist Mussolini - had initially fought alongside Nazi Germany. Yet the Italians became increasingly anxious about their role in the war and about Fascism, and in 1943, Mussolini was deposed by Victor Emmanuel III, the king of Italy.

Italy then switched sides in the war and supported the British allies, but suffered huge loses in northern towns and villages as the Nazis tried to take revenge. After the war, following a referendum, the monarchy was abolished and a republic was established.

Italians of the 1950s saw an economic explosion that resulted in the rise of living standards. Despite this rise, many southern Italians remained in poverty necessitating moves to the more prosperous north.

A selection of color slides belonging to Fraser Pettigrew's grandfather James Halley, from one or more his trips to Italy, that show everyday life of Italy in the late 1950s.


Vicenza. Giuseppe Garibaldi statue

Acquapendente. Oxen on the street

Aquileia. Basilica di Aquileia

Assisi. Santa Maria degli Angeli



Brenner. Beppe Sello

Capri. On a small boat

Capri. Somewhere in the village down by the harbour



Castellammare di Stabia. Hotel Miramare

Castellammare di Stabia

Cortina d'Ampezzo

Desenzano del Garda

Desenzano del Garda

Florence. Outside the Uffizi

Florence. Piazza and Basilica di Santa Croce

Florence. Piazza di Santa Croce

Limone sul Garda

Limone sul Garda

Milan. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Milan. Milan Cathedral

Milan. Milan train station


Riva del Garda. Via Florida

Rome. Altare della Patria

Rome. Capitoline Hill

Rome. Lateran Obelisk

Rome. Piazza Colonna

Rome. Trevi Fountain

Sorrento. On the Corso Italia

Sorrento. Piazza San'Antonino

Sorrento. Piazza Tasso

Sorrento. Piazza Tasso

Trieste. Looking down from the Parco della Rimembranza (or the steps leading down from the obelisk fountain) towards the Piazza Carlo Goldoni

Trieste. On the via Roma, looking towards the Sant'Antonio Nuovo

Trieste. Piazza Carlo Goldoni


Vatican City. St Peter's

Vatican City

Venice. Cafe Florian at Piazza San Marco

Venice. On the lagoon, Mazzorbo

Venice. Palazzo Ducale

Venice. Piazza San Marco

Venice. Piazza San Marco

Venice. Piazza San Marco

Viareggio. Fruit street vendor

Viareggio. People at the beach



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