Cultural diplomacy has always been an important tool in Italian foreign policy. Culture represented a significant resource already in the liberal period and was also widely used by Fascism. During the inter-war period, cultural promotion abroad aimed at spreading the regime’s political-social organizational model. In the second post-war period, cultural resources played a fundamental role in Italian international relations. The democratic government carried out a transition from an essentially propagandistic action, which Fascism implemented especially in the second half of 1930’s, to a cultural diplomacy more attentive to the issues of dialogue and cooperation. The soft power of culture grew in importance. Lacking effective diplomatic tools of a political and economic nature, the new ruling class promoted the nation’s cultural tradition. Although with means and personnel widely used already during the Fascist period, democratic Italy adopted an innovative cultural diplomacy with regard to premises and goals. This policy was apparently low-key and devoid of political themes, but in reality it was aimed at acquiring, in the long run, the friendship and the sympathy of the elites of other countries, so as to bolster political and economic relations. In the framework of a broader course of action, aimed at supporting multilateral diplomacy, the new leaders of post-Fascist Italy also promoted an international cultural cooperation which reversed the previous power politics and the unilateral assertion of Italian culture, but was still careful to defend the nation’s interests. This cooperative dimension was realized above all with the participation in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).