The history of construction using steel in Italy is not linear. An initial period, which developed in line with events in Europe and America, was followed by stagnation in the first decades of the twentieth century and then by a strong recovery and a real takeoff in the post-war years. This development was always permeated by strong competition with construction using reinforced concrete and this competition stimulated evolution and innovation. The history of the relationship between steel construction and architecture was also one of ups and downs, tied to the various aspects: economics, technical culture, types of organisation and the means employed by construction firms. The intention is to commence an initial investigation on these three questions and how they interact. As well as providing ideas for further research, this may lead to reflection on the mechanisms which have had an impact on the history of steel construction in the past and on stimuli which could be useful for new developments in the future.
Keywords: Metal constructions; steel structures; the history of engineering