Celebrating Winter in Italy: A Cultural Journey Through Time, 1930s-1970s

In the winter from the 1930s to the 1970s, Italy was a time of significant change and transformation. Italy experienced substantial economic, social, and cultural shifts during this period that shaped its identity and place in the world.

In the 1930s and 1940s, many Italians lived in poverty, especially in rural areas, and the harsh winter months were a time of struggle for survival. For those who lived in the cities, winter was a time of limited indoor activities due to a lack of heating and resources.

However, by the 1950s and 1960s, Italy’s economy was growing, and the country was experiencing a rise in consumer culture. Winter became a time for leisure and travel, with many middle-class Italians taking ski trips or traveling to warmer destinations. Winter sports and outdoor activities, such as ice skating and sledding, also became popular.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Italy was at the forefront of the global youth and cultural revolution, and the winter months were a time of celebration and experimentation. Young Italians attended parties, concerts, and cultural events, pushing the boundaries of fashion, music, art, and politics. Winter was also a time of religious celebration, with Christmas and the Epiphany being some of the year’s most important holidays.

Winter months in Italy were a time of varying challenges and difficulties, and they were also a time of leisure, celebration, and cultural richness. People spent their time in various ways, from outdoor activities and traveling to cultural events and religious celebrations.

#2 Snow thawing created a flood in front of the Piazza San Marco in Venice, 1933.

#3 People in Piazza del Duomo in a misty winter afternoon, Milan, 1934.

#4 A watchman runs the traffic on a sunny winter morning, Milan, 1934.

#11 Piazza Oberdan in the snow, Milan, 1939. (Fototeca Gilardi)

#14 A young couple sitting on a bench in Piazza Donatello, Florence, 1950s. (Vincenzo Balocchi)

#15 Men lighting fireworks, Sicily, 1950s. (Mario De Biasi)

#17 Little boy crouching and making a snowman in a park after a snowfall, Milan, 1950s. (Mario De Biasi)

#18 Children playing on a slope covered with snow in a park after a snowfall, Milan, 1950s. (Mario De Biasi)

#19 The French team heading to the Ice Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 7th Olympic Winter Games, Cortina, 1956.

#20 A little boy looking at a Christmas shop window display in Rome, 1957.

#23 Father and son shopping for Christmas, Milan, 1958.

#24 A painter in the winter, Dolomites, 1959. (Jean-Philippe Charbonnier)

#25 A couple sitting on a bench during the winter in Rome, 1960.

#26 A young woman trying to protect herself from the cold during winter, 1961. (Walter Mori)

#27 Carcoforo inhabitants at a square of the village, 1960s.

#28 Snowball fight at Trinita Dei Monti during a cold wave in Rome, 1969.

#30 Dick Stillman, “avalanche buster” for the U.S. forest service atop Berthoud Pass, points out jagged fracture line in the snow.

#31 American actor Rock Hudson (Roy Harold Scherer Jr) and American actress Jennifer Jones (Phylis Lee Isley) hugging each other on the snow in a scene from the film A farewell to arms. Italy, 1957

#32 Italy v France, A picture of the French goalkeeper Remetter as he retrieves the ball from the snow behind his goal

#33 Some children learn to ski. Cortina d’Ampezzo, March 1954

#34 Susanna Agnelli herself on the skis, together with her youngher sister Cristina Agnelli

#35 Some skiers, with the skis on their shoulders. walking in front of the new church founded by Don Giuseppe Vietto, the odd priest of Cervino. Valtournenche, 1964

#37 Italian actor Carlo Cabrini joking with Italian actress Anna Canzi. The two actors play the leading characters of the film The Fiances I fidanzati by Ermanno Olmi. Sant’Angelo Lodigiano, 1963

#38 The Italian voice artist and film actor Corrado Pani and the US actor Joseph Walsh are chatting around a square table in the open air, in a snow covered landscape; they are toasting with red wine. Italy, 1963.

#39 Italian director Lina Wertmuller (Arcangela Felice Assunta Wertmuller von Elgg Spanol von Braueich) preparing a scene on the set of Don’t Sting the Mosquito. Italy, 1967

#40 Italian mountaineer Achille Compagnoni, first man in the world to gain the top of the K2 Mountain, 1964

#41 Children and adults having fun on the snow in Maielletta. Pennapiedimonte, 1960s

#42 People going to spend a day on the snow after they parked their car

#43 The singer Mia Martini (Domenica Rita Adriana Bertè) on a horse-drawn sleigh. Livigno, Italy. 1973

#44 Italian singer Gigliola Cinquetti playing on the snow with a ski stick in her hand. San Giorgio, 1974.

#45 Italian actress Monica Vitti (Maria Luisa Ceccarelli) posing for a photoshooting on her own terrace. Rome, 1963

#46 The inhabitants of Carcoforo walking in a square of the village. Carcoforo, 1960s

#47 Shelley Winters (Shirley Schrift) and her husband and American actor Anthony Franciosa (Anthony George Papaleo, Jr.) beside a mosaic during the 19th Venice International Film Festival. Venice, August 1958

#48 Curling Game on ice in St Moritz fot the Winter Olympics Games, 1950s.

#49 Curling Game on ice in St Moritz fot the Winter Olympics Games, 1950s.

#50 Children playing on a slope covered with snow in a park after a snowfall. Milan, 1950s.

#51 German/Italian prisoners of war clearing snow on Fairfield Common, Buxton, Derbyshire, 1947.

#52 Children playing with snow in a park after a snowfall. Milan, 1950s.

#53 Little boy crouching and making a snowman in a park after a snowfall. Milan, 1950s.

#55 Pinnacles and flying buttresses of Milan Cathedral in the winter in Italy, 1934

#56 The prior of the hospice ascends the Mont Mort with skis. The Mont Mort is the frontier between Italy and Switzerland.

#57 Fascism took advantage of the people’s verve for ski-sport for their own purpose, like here in Italy, 1935

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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