Italian masonry, interdicted by the fascist regime in 1925, resumed its activity in 1943, when Mussolini fell and allied forces invaded Southern Italy. The early stage went through a state of general disorder, as witnessed by the rise of a number of self-governing groups; soon, however, two organizations became predominant, led by Palazzo Giustiniani and Piazza del Gesù respectively. The former supported a republican form of government; its position was definitely in favour of democratic progress and its action aimed at cooperation and agreement with the centre-left parties, with a view to possible agreements with the communist party as well. The latter was monarchical and anti-communist, sided with the centre-right parties and kept up friendly relations with Democrazia cristiana and the catholic circles. The essay introduces us into these events on the basis of unpublished documents of the National Archive, Washington, and Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome.