The marine colonies are one of the peculiarities of the Italian coastal landscape. Widespread by the end of the XIX century – especially on the coasts of Romagna, Liguria and Tuscany – they suffered changing fortunes over the years. Born as places of care for children suffering from tuberculosis, they took on propagandistic value, during the Fascist regime, while in the postwar period they assumed health and social function. During the years of economic boom, the advent of mass tourism, new economic conditions of families and a different perception of the stay in the colony, caused the gradual emptying and the subsequent closing down. The construction of these “childhood towns” offers to designers unmissable opportunities for technological and stylistic experimentation. The birth of a new typology stimulates publications, academic studies and promotes cultural initiatives, such as the "Mostra Nazionale delle colonie estive ed assistenza all’infanzia ", held in Rome in 1937, that states unequivocally the importance achieved by this theme. Today these huge "containers" are in the spotlight again: the debate on the criteria and methods for the recovery and restoring come up by the side of the scientific world’s interest that promotes research aimed at historical, technological and architectural analysis of these buildings, that represent significant expressions of the first decades of the twentieth century and, in some cases, of the Italian Rationalism.
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