Most of the socio-economic literature concerning Italy begins analysis at the end of the Second World War. The selection of such an historical period is due to the simultaneous occurrence of three fundamental changes. The first, which took place at the institutional level, involved the creation of the Republic with the proclamation of a new constitution endorsing the fundamental rights of a modern democratic State. The second change took place at the poi itical-economic level and involved the end of the fascist regime and the entrance of Italy into the Western bloc under the influence of the United States. American interests began to play a dominant role in Italian affairs, especially with respect to Italy’s position in the international arena. The last change occurred at the social level and had to do with the collapse of the former dominant social bloc that Gramsci (1974) described as the alliance between the Southern agrarian aristocracy and the Northern industrial bourgeoisie. It was replaced by a new alliance between the industrial bourgeoisie and the State bourgeoisie, a new class fraction in charge of administering the increased intervention of the State in the economy (Graziani, 1979). These changes did not alter, however, the sharp differences between the Northern and the Southern regions of the 51country. The North was developed with a strong industrial network, good agriculture, and infrastructure second to none in Europe. The South was underdeveloped, poorly industrialized, and with an obsolete agricultural sector dominated by latifundia, which were large estates owned by absentee landlords. This North-South dualism has been a characteristic of Italy since the unification of the country in 1861 and, in spite of numerous attempts made to eliminate this gap, it has grown steadily.