Industry. – In the early seventies, when the raw materials crisis arose, the Italy it had achieved high rates of industrial growth, based on the development of basic industries, hired as poles to increase the production of semi-finished and finished products. The result of this policy, which the whole Western world had followed since the first postwar period, was the organization of the so-called industrial poles. Some essential sectors were protagonists: steel, oil refining, basic petrochemicals, production of thermoelectric energy. Since industrial production was based on the import of energy sources and minerals, it followed that these large plants had to be installed on the coast, in or near merchant ports. Consequentially, for over twenty years the Italian industrial landscape developed along two lines: the expansion of activities based on steel and oil refining; the propensity for the coastal location of the base plants. In this way the Italian coasts were organized with important areas: Genoa, Piombino, Naples, Priolo Melilli, Taranto, Ancona, Porto Marghera, Cagliari can be remembered as the most significant.
According to countryvv.com, the factors which arose subsequently brought about some changes. In the first place, the coastal industrial areas, based on the basic industry, have undergone production contractions and, in some cases, real closures of companies. In this way, the need arose to reuse precious coastal spaces and to draw inspiration from this circumstance to mitigate or remove the environmental impacts that basic productions cause to the detriment of the atmosphere and the sea. In the second half of the 1980s, the restructuring of these areas appeared to be one of the most incisive territorial transformations. While the large basic industrial plants suffered setbacks and ran into crisis, medium and small enterprises have spread, based on quality production, on the use of information technology and advanced technologies aimed at two markets: supply of semi-finished products for large companies, supply of finished products abroad. It must be said that the spread of information technology has led large companies – think of the automotive ones – to resort to external activities rather than increase their own departments. Consequently, the productive fabric has diversified and has suffered from the propensity not to concentrate in areas crowded with settlements. The economy and the organization of the territory have gained from it. Collaterally to this process there has been a certain diffusion of ” hidden activities ”, that is, the production of semi-finished or finished products outside the official economic circuits and, therefore, outside taxation. This process, present in several advanced countries, it had in Italy – especially in the late seventies and early eighties – such a diffusion that, in the opinion of many, it was a not secondary factor in causing a sort of economic “ miracle ”. As regards the contribution of the productive sectors to the formation of the GDP of the entire industrial economy, at the beginning of the 1980s the following situation was present: metallurgical and mechanical activities provided 30% of the gross industrial product; followed by the textile and clothing sector with 18%, the food sector with 13% and the woodworking sector with 8%. All the others recorded lower odds.
Tertiary activities. – In the tertiary sector, protagonist of the recent phases of the Italian economy, there were 1 million companies in the early 1950s and increased to 1.7 in the following thirty years. In the same period, the number of employees more than doubled, from 2.7 to 5.7 million. The ways in which key sectors of the sector have participated in GDP are significant: trade was 40% in 1951 and just 33% in 1981; the same happened in the transport sector, whose shareholding fell from 23% to 19.3% in the thirty years; the hotel and public business sector increased its stake from just 4.2% to 6.2%. On the contrary, the credit and insurance sectors nearly doubled their share of wealth production, from 10.4% (1951) to 19.1% (1981). The free professions remained stationary at around 22%. However, many professions related to computer science, ai media and other activities, to the extent that the latter sector should increase its relative weight in the tertiary economy. Tourism has consolidated its essential function for the country’s economy. In the early nineties, the tourist movement was estimated at 167.5 million Italians and over 84 million foreign ones. The consumption of non-Italian tourists was estimated at 7,000 billion lire. The national tourist offer was based on 1.7 million beds in hotels, about 330,000 beds in private accommodation and over 1.2 million places in campsites.