Lara Pucci, “Postcards from the Past: Fascist Site-Seeing in Post-War Italy”

Abstract: This article examines picture postcards of Fascist-era sites that were mailed after the fall of the regime. Sent between the 1940s and the 1980s, the postcards carry images of both highly recognisable and less well-known examples of Fascism’s symbolic architecture. Postcards published during the regime are considered alongside those produced after its fall in order to examine both the post-war circulation of Fascist-era objects, and how the regime’s architecture continued to attract the attention of photographers, postcard makers, and the postcard buying public deep into the Republican era. By examining the meeting of past and present in the space of the postcard, the article explores how these re-presentations of the regime’s representative buildings mediate the architectural legacy of Fascism in post-war Italy.
Key Words: Fascism, Italy, post-war, postcards, difficult heritage, modern architecture, adaptive reuse, preservation, new towns, political exhibitions.