The paper analyzes first the circumstances and historical frameworks in which the various steps of Italy’s decentralization process took place, from the early post-war partial solution of the “Special Regions” envisaged by the 1948 Constitution, through the failure of the radical reforming attempts pursued during the nineties, the subsequent “decentralization with unchanged Constitution” phase (so called “administrative federalism”) up to the fully fledged reform of Title V of the Constitution (Act 3/2001) , followed by an attempt to reform it (to get a true political federalism) by the subsequent centre-right government , which was defeated by the constitutional referendum of 2006. Then it describes the economic and financial background that during the first decades kept the Italian politics united around the concept of unitary state (leaving aside the “Special Regions”), subsequently provoked the birth of 15 “Ordinary Regions” (1970-72), and then caused a more stringent push towards a North-South (or a rich-poor) political conflict by the Northern League. It also mentions the various concepts of “equalization” of public resources which have been behind the various stages of the decentralization and regionalization process (especially at the regional level) and are now at the core of art 119 of the new Constitution. Finally, it gives a brief account of the not so hidden conflict between the Centre and the Regions (especially the Northern Regions) about their respective competences, as well as of the attempts now being pursued (especially) by Lombardy Region to gain a special status within a “double speed” system of “devolution”. With a final hint on the burden being placed on Italy’s public finances by the “federalist” solutions and non-solutions.