This course gives an overview of recent Italian history. Students will trace the history of Italy from the end of the Second World War to the current crisis facing Italy. Topics will include: the birth of the Republic, the clash between the Christian Democrats and the Communist Party in the 50s, the economic boom, terrorism in the 70s and of the "opposite extremes," the political degeneration of the 80s, "Tangentopoli," and the new political system in the Berlusconi era. Particular attention will be devoted to foreign policy, focusing on Italy's role in the international arena with emphasis on the birth of the European unification process. As a member of NATO and as a country in the Mediterranean, Italy will be analyzed as a bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa.