On the eve of 1968 the Italian Left consisted of various groups, which can be distinguished on the basis of different political traditions, geopolitical affiliations, principal thinkers, goals, and agendas. The Italian Communist Party after the Second World War was the largest communist party in the West in terms of registered members and electoral results. There are several reasons why events in Central Europe during the Cold War had strong repercussions in Italy: the geographical proximity of Italy to the Iron Curtain, the status of Italy as a defeated country after World War II, deficiencies of the postwar democratic system, and the attractiveness exercised by Marxist–Leninist ideology on all of the main actors of the Italian Left. Knowledge of the reality of the USSR, of the countries of so-called ‘real socialism’ and of the popular revolutions in Asia was rather scarce in Italy before 1968.