GHDI logo
German History in Documents and Images
return to system

Italian Chianti in German Supermarkets (1959)
Increased wealth, shorter working hours, and the motorization and mobilization of society meant that vacation traveling by West Germans had developed into mass tourism by 1959-60. There was also an increase in foreign travel: while only 15 percent of West Germans vacationed outside Germany in 1954, one-third of the population traveled to foreign countries in 1961. Between 1957 and 1961, trips to Austria, Switzerland, and Italy accounted for three-quarters of West German vacations abroad. In 1961 alone, 28 percent of all vacation trips were spent in Italy, and West German popular culture of the 1950s and 1960s depicted Italy, nearly without exception, as a holiday destination. Chianti was both a symbol of Italy and a central part of its holiday image. The demand for reasonably priced Italian wine expanded rapidly in Germany: in 1951, 41,715 tons of Italian wine were imported, while in 1960 the figure rose to 115,216 ton. Photo by Hanns Hubmann.