A population based case-control study was conducted in the province of Torino (Northern Italy) where internal migration produced a population with mixed ethnicity and lifestyles. Two hundred and eight cases of histologically confirmed cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) and four hundred and sixteen controls were interviewed. Our results gave evidence to the role of skin reaction to the sun (OR 5.0 in men and 2.2 in women) as an indicator of a group at risk. The increased risk of intense and occasional sun exposure as can be inferred from sun exposure during holidays and outdoor sports, has been confirmed (OR 4.1 in men and 2.7 in women). Ethnic differences did not play an important role in our population, women who used oral contraceptives also did not show an increased risk.