The author outlines the Italian debate on the work of reconstruction of the most important monuments damaged by bombing during the Second World War. He also introduces the essays contained in this periodical. The concept of monument, which after the war was extended from single buildings to cover the entire historic city centre, needed new and effective disciplinary tools which the policy of city reconstruction had to reckon with. Moreover, a significant input for the very image of war damaged cities as demonstrated by the essays published came from the debate on the architectonic language of reconstruction. In some cases architecture drew from traditional language, whereas in others a modern approach was the preferred option.