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Sociabilty and Leisure in Italy from Unity to Present


The Italian history of the practices and forms of leisure relies on a series of solid and well credited, albeit recent, studies (Pivato and Tonelli, 2001; Cavazza, 2003, 2005; Cavazza and Scalpellini, 2006; Tarozzi and Viani, 1992). In this chapter we mostly draw from this literature in order to interpret the history of leisure as the history of change in the Italian forms of sodalité, sociabilité and socialité across 150 years (from unity to present). In the first part, by using a specific interpretative scheme (Lo Verde, 2009), we describe the forms and practices of leisure and their changes in three different historical periods which basically coincide with the three different regimes established in Italy after the unity in 1861: the liberal post-unity period, the fascist period and the republican post-world war II period. In the second part we discuss some findings from empirical evidence on the most recent leisure consumption practices in Italy arguing that in our country too there seems to emerge a tendency to privatized and individualized leisure.