The author outlines the history of the Italian community in Istria and Fiume, which turned into an ethno-national minority after the drawing of new borders and the national and social changes produced by the 1947 Peace Treaty and the 1954 Memorandum of Understanding. The timespan covered corresponds to the particularly critical and prolonged after-war period in Venezia Giulia, marked by the Trieste issue and more specifically by the exodus of the Italian-speaking population of Istra and the Quarnero. This period is described in the light of the internal political evolution of Yugoslavia and the Italo-Yugoslav relations. In the immediate aftermath of the war, a process of progressive demographic decline as well as political and cultural downsizing of the Italian community took place, leading to an ethnic and cultural deficiency that has never been redressed. Despite the very advanced formal legal protection enjoyed by the Italian community in communist Yugoslavia, the regime in power thoroughly emptied the law of its effectiveness. An assimilation policy and nationalistic measures further contributed to the numerical reduction of the Italian community living in Istria and Fiume.