The Last Emperor of Rome
Italy’s longest-serving prime minister, television tycoon, property mogul, football magnate, singer, Casanova and joker, Silvio Berlusconi has put his stamp on Italy like no other politician since Benito Mussolini.
Accused of paying for sex with an under-aged belly-dancer, the legal case is but the latest in a string of lurid tales, including allegations that he hosted orgies at his luxurious villas. A hero to many of his compatriots, ridiculed abroad, his antics raise questions about Italy’s image in the world.
Does Berlusconi represent the true face of his country – its fragile democracy, crony political system, opaque industry and poorly-regulated media – or is he a maverick, an anomoly, soon to pass on, and be remembered simply as The Last Emperor of Rome.
About the author
Mojca Širok is Rome correspondent for Slovene National Television. She has been covering Italian politics and social affairs since 1993. Her previous book, Oblast brez obraza (“Power without a Face”), investigated Italy’s four mafia syndicates.