The essay aims to analyse two particular aspects of the 1980s in Italy: the category of riflusso, which usually defines the whole decade, and punk culture widespread among Italian youths from the end of the 1970s. The term riflusso was generated in a non-scientific context, signifying a decreasing moment of a cycle of protests. But it was soon after the Aldo Moro case that a public debate about a condition of riflusso reached a peak (1978-80); it crossed over the political language and began to define what seemed to be a permanent cultural crisis of the country and the end of political commitment, or of the impegno. An interpretation that was inherited by historiography. The essay aims to outline the multiple faces the term acquired and to redefine its actual periodization. The second part is dedicated to punk culture in Italy from the end of the 1970s. Punk is a strategic point of view to understand the transformation of youth cultural consumption and the renovation of political activism. Generally speaking, historical studies about Italy in the 1980s are still quantitatively insufficient. Therefore, it aspires to contribute to the historiographic debate through a study of the complex Italian cultural transition from the 1970s into the 1980s.
Keywords: History of the 1970s and 1980s; Italian politics; Youth cultures.