The history of community social work practice is not very long in Italy. Not-withstanding some requests, in the period after the Second World War, only short experiences took place, mainly as support to community development and within housing programs. In the last fifteen years some books focused on community as specific dimension of social work and of social psychology. Also in the fields of social policy the idea of community came out, in connection with the progressive disintegration of traditional forms of communitarian solidarity, mainly in every-day people life. Matching the old and new forms of community and the controver-sial issue between communitarians and liberals, the author suggests that practice of community social work should be updated within a perspective of universalistic membership, where the very idea of community would be rethought and freed from any form of particularism, so as to become truly universal and cosmopolite.