The relationship between financial development and economic growth has received enormous attention in the economic literature in the last decade. The widely-accepted finding is that "financial development" has a positive effect on growth at either aggregate or industry, or firm, levels. While the impact of "financial structure" on growth has received less support. This paper aims at providing an overview of the theoretical and empirical findings by pointing out that the finance-growth nexus has been present in the research agenda of Italian economists since the Seventies and it is still much alive. More specifically, the recent research agenda of Italian economists tries to explain how financial systems can shrink regional the growth differential by looking at new quality indices of bank efficiency and at spatial accessibility of financial funds. The paper elucidates what financial structure, banks or markets, is more conducive to economic growth.