Of all the countries in Europe that have to contend with problem regions, Italy presents the most classic model of economic dualism. Italy has the distinction and the challenge of combining one of the most advanced industrial economies of Western Europe with one of the continent’s poorest and most depressed areas—the Mezzogiorno, the land of the midday sun. If the problem of underdevelopment within the E.E.C. is to be tackled with any chance of success, the crucial testing ground will be southern Italy, where economic and social backwardness is more pronounced than anywhere else. In fact the problem of the backwardness of the Italian South is of worldwide significance, for nowhere has there yet been devised a satisfactory mechanism for solving the problems of underdevelopment and regional imbalance that affect nearly all countries of the globe. We may think of Italy, including the South, as very much part of modern Europe, as it is of course, but in the recent past the Mezzogiorno exhibited many of the features of underdevelopment characteristic of countries of the Third World. In 1950, the crucial year marking the start of the regional development effort, southern Italy had a mean/?er capita income below the average for Latin America.