Two outstanding figures among the 20th century neoscholastics in Italy are Cornelio Fabro and Gustavo Bontadini. The article presents their views on the essence, historical role and chronological boundaries of modern thought. Their views are far from similar. Fabra favours antimodernist approach, Bontadini is more dialectical. These differences can be explained by two theoretical orientations which they have adopted. Fabro postulates a return to pure thomism reinterpreted as an existentialist philosophy. Bontadini, inspired by the 'philosophy of act' of Giovanni Gentile, proposes to reduce thomism to an incipient form of neoparmenideism.