Jane Shallice reviews Discovery of the World: A political awakening in the shadow of Mussolini, by Luciana Castellina
Lorenzo Fe argues that Italy's Five Star Movement owes a big debt to the left – but won votes by rejecting it
As Firenze 10+10 begins, Rossana Rossanda discusses how the Left can open a breach in the neoliberal wall
Donatella Della Porta writes that despite the Eurozone crisis and harsh austerity policies, it seems as if Italy is no longer responding with protest demonstrations anymore
Paolo Ferrero was Minister of Social Solidarity in the Prodi Government. He describes here the difficulties of achieving radical reform in the face of a weak coalition, social conservatism and the crisis besetting Italy's weak political institutions
Paolo Cacciari, a former Rifondazione MP, argues that the left should avoid being 'absorbed' by state institutions, and explains how citizens' associations can work to bring about a new left culture
Alessandra Mecozzi, International Secretary of FIOM, the Italian metalworkers union, reflects on the weakened state of the movements, including the trade union movement, and draws some harsh lessons
Italy has seen a recent wave of 'territorial' social movements, brought together by a crisis of political representation. In the face of an increasingly insecure society, and the appeal of more authoritarian demands, these movements still need to develop a mass base, argues Tommaso Fattori
With the centre-left taking a rightward turn, and a fractious left increasingly losing its social base, the prospects for the Italian election look bleak, argues Luciana Castellina
Italy is a right-wing country, where the Vatican retains a strong influence and a majority of the population belong to the urban middle class. The left needs a new appeal to these sectors if it is to challenge Berlusconi, argues Paul Ginsborg
Walter Veltroni is the main centre-left challenger to Berlusconi in Italy's general election. As leader of the Democratic Party, he rejects local and social movement campaigns in territorial autonomy and favours making Italy a military and industrial 'hub', writes Enzo Mangini
The Prodi government failed in its promises to rewrite Berlusconi's controversial labour laws, remunicipalise water and reverse Italy's militaristic international policies. The result is disillusionment with the left, writes Vittorio Longhi
Italians have often led the way in creating a European left but now they face a crisis in the return of Silvio Berlusconi. Hilary Wainwright talked to a range of left activists as they prepared for the elections
Fabio Alberti from the Italian 'Bridges to Baghdad' argues that the peace movement will have to keep Prodi to his commitment to withdraw from Iraq and calls for the government to initiate an international peace conference.
From the dramatic events surrounding the killing of an Italian secret agent to a sweeping electoral victory against Berlusconi, Hilary Wainwright provides a snapshot of a dramatic time in Italian politics. But as Rifondazione Comunista extends its influence in regional government, she asks: can the left transform the state by sharing power?
Hilary Wainwright savours the political and cultural dolce vita in the Adriatic town of Grottammare.