Today Italian ethnomusicologists participate in international meetings and contribute to the main journals of the field. Personal experience leads me to believe, however, that the peculiar history of ethnomusicological studies in Italy as well as the extremely rich and diverse repertories of Italian folk music are little known outside Italy. This is due to a number of reasons. The first one is language. Italian ethnomusicologists have written — and mostly write — in Italian, an international language of musicology, albeit not widely spoken in the ethnomusicological milieu. But the main reason, I believe, lies in the peculiarity of Italian research, focused on the musical traditions of its own country. The history of Italy and the cultural developments of the last century have prompted this situation of self-reflection in a spcific way that I will make an attempt to describe presently.