I'm italian. It all depends exactly what year we're talking about and where exactly the story takes place. In general, the life of common people in italy was no different than the life of any other person in europe. The technology was the same, the works and jobs were the same, the shops was the same, the industry still the same and the farmers were the same too. All the families who lived in the country had their own cows and milk (3-4 cows per family) in northern italy, where sheeps were more common in southern italy. People living in italian big cities did no different than those living in London or Paris.
This is about common people.
If you're looking for political info or war info, then it's like opening a pandora box and I could write an encyclopedia about it, but I need you to tell me exactly what kind of information you need because it's impossible to generalize (if you want general info there's wikipedia).
There were, to my knowledge, some quite bad food shortages the longer the war progressed. Several families escaped to allied countries as refugees (including my grandparent's family). The food shortages had a big impact on Italian cooking. The common person would cook with whatever they had available to them. There are several famous Italian dishes today which were originally a 'poor man's dish'.
At the start of the war fascism support was far greater, but it quickly dropped off because the Italian people suffered a great deal. After the fascists lost control of Italy, quite a number of fascists were executed. www.economist.com/node/9468982
Young girls were encouraged to have as many children as possible in an effort to increase the population. While young boys were taught that war was natural, like giving birth was natural.
Naples had lots of issue with diseases. There were several outbreaks, and a lot of the infrastructure was wrecked by bombing. People got around with dockeys, cars did exist but weren't super duper common.
After the war a lot of people moved to the city, women and men alike. In the cities there was greater education, greater wealth and more independence for an individual, while life living in the countryside was quite restrictive. Women's magazines became rather popular in 1950, there was a fashion boom. In 1950 some of these magazines portrayed stories from the war, diseases and even mental health issues. A lot of Italians wrote in saying they had similar experiences, but a lot of discussion about diseases and mental health especially was still very much taboo. However, it led the way for for people to talk about it. Either way, after the war there was a cultural revolution. (food (especially food), cars, music, fashion, literature, engineering, art... Throughout Europe there was a big Italian influence.)
Men were fighting, so women and young children were the ones who suffered the most as a result of the bombing. Women actually were involved quite a great deal in the resistance. Allied propaganda was largely aimed at women, and women had a big role to play in dispelling faccist propaganda that was common in the education system.
Blackouts, despite the bombing of Italy were mostly completely ignored.
The bombing caused mixed feelings amongst the Italians. Even if you opposed fascism that didn't mean you loved the allies either. They were after all, the ones who bombed your country and destroyed your home. The allied tried to combat this by saying it was a necceary evil. Some Italians accepted this, others did not. There were plenty of people, who opposed faccism but had seen to many deaths not to call the allies murderers. In 1994 a school was hit, which killed 200 children. A great deal of Italians expressed their anger over that, and other incidents.
Something else to consider. Italy is a fairly new country in the long run of things. The culture in the North is dramastically different from that of the South. Often the Italian dialects are so strong that a South Italian couldn't understand a North Italian a vice versa. The country is almost like multiple countries smacked together, in the war it was even more so. Some areas had very different experiences to other areas of Italy. Things like public opinion was certainly not unified.
You might be surprised to learn that the Italian Mafia played a huge role in the resistance against Benito Mussolini's fascist regime, even cooperating with the U.S. government's spies while they were planning the invasion of Sicily. It is not widely known, but it is a very interesting story.
Although "the Godfather" is only a movie telling a fictitious narrative, this particular scene is set in Italy very shortly after WW2, and it has great atmosphere and scenery (do not worry, there is no violence in this particular scene). www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y64be…
Thank you so much~ I will be watching this shortly, and in fact I actually just learned of the story with the mafia the other day. It is indeed quite interesting! (I apologise for the shortness of this response as I have to be somewhere)
don't use movies like if they were history documentaries for your books. 99% of what you see in movies is BS. Also be very careful about propaganda. I wouldn't bring Mafia in the subject because that's an incredibly complex business and it's almost impossible to write something believable unless you actually lived in italy or you were an expert in the subject.
But it's always the same - average people lead their average lives as today and whenever something happens their opinions differ a lot. Some don't care, some are against it (some even radically) some are supporting it (some even radically).
Also when you want to understand society then look at their past and how it has shaped the people
WW2 is my special interest yet I don't know much about Italy yet, gotta do a research once I am home again