1. The way we were and are First floor

The history of 20th-century Italy was written by the men and women who lived there. This section is devoted to the demographic, anthropometric and social changes in the Italian population from Unification to the present day.

1. The way we were and are 1.1 Snapshots

Just like three large family photos, the group portraits show the speed, degree and extreme nature of the transformation which the Italian population underwent in the last century. Coming face to face with the people of 1901, 1961 and 2011 is a great way of seeing in what way and to what extent we have changed: there are more of us and we are older, we live in smaller families, we study for longer, we have less strenuous jobs, we are taller, stronger and healthier than our forefathers.

1. The way we were and are 1.2 Let’s measure ourselves!

What did our peers look like at the beginning of the 1900s? And what would we be like if we had had to work in the fields instead of going to school? The economic and social advances made in the 20th century did not just change our lives: they transformed our bodies and features. Stand in front of these magic mirrors and put yourselves in the shoes of your ancestors to see what you would have looked like if you had lived at a different time.

1. The way we were and are 1.3 En route

Most of us have a relative who left home to seek his fortune or we know someone who came to Italy for precisely the same reason. Our peninsula –like other countries but to a greater extent – has seen its fair share of comings and goings. In the 20th century, the sheer number of migrants grew exponentially, becoming a mass phenomenon. This section looks at how millions of people moved within Italy and beyond the national borders, sharing their fears, sacrifices, expectations and successes with us.

1. The way we were and are 1.4 All settled down

Being born, growing up, getting old as men or women: we take all the key stages in our lives for granted but they are actually conditioned by the society we live in. This area describes the rites of passage in the lives of Italians and explains what it means to start a family.

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