In the history of tourism in Italy the gap between North and South, still evident today, is documented well before the unification of the country. After World War II, after the reconstruction phase, between 1959 and 1960, when the European tourists were asking insistently for more beaches and Mediterranean Sea, a debate was open on the value of tourism in relation to industry and agriculture, and on the potential of the southern regions. The author analyzes a Tourism Development Program of regions Puglia and Basilicata of 1957, and compares it with another plan, promoted by IMI in the same year, and called "The Golden parable", which includes a series of investments in tourism on the Tyrrhenian coast. The two programs were not realized, but the author believes that they point to that some areas of public administration and the business community engaged in sensitizing policy to the need of giving dignity and attention to the phenomenon of tourism.
Keywords: Tourism, Cassa per il Mezzogiorno, Provincial Tourism Authorities, Fifties, development plans.