This article aims to discuss historical interpretations of the origins of fascism since the 1990s, with particular reference to the question of political violence. Particularly underlined is the impact on Italian historiography of the international studies on the «brutalization of politics» in the interwar period. The article also examines the effects such studies had in the analysis of the so-called «red biennium», i.e. the years 1919-1920 in Italy. Moreover it considers the role of the debate on «civil war» in the reflection on violence in twentieth-century Italy, as well as the relevance that local history had on the overall landscape of the interwar period, also on methodological grounds. New studies permit a better understanding of the ways in which Italy entered the Fascist dictatorship and show the role of new approaches dealing with the Fascist conquest of power through the March on Rome.