Italy is often a difficult country to understand. Usually it is so conscious of its image abroad that any report in the foreign press can cause soul searching in the national media for days. On most occasions the country appears to care excessively about its bella figura, about how it is seen by others, about what the Americans, the British, the French, the Germans, think about the Bel Paese. It is all the more surprising therefore that when it comes to electing its political leaders it doesn