Italy is an interesting case to be included in a comparative analysis of the effects determined by the recent financial crisis on the European political systems, because of the distinctiveness characterising the recent development of this parliamentary democracy. The processes of making and breaking governments, in particular, have been particularly unusual: the end of the governmental experience of Silvio Berlusconi and the formation of the technical government led by Mario Monti have been strongly influenced by external factors, as well as the recent formation of the government guided by Enrico Letta, supported by a broad coalition including the former competing centre-right and centre-left cartels. The paper focuses on the practices of executive–legislative relationships in Italy between 2008 and the 2013 elections. Its basic puzzle is to understand the effective impact determined by the economic crisis over the core mechanisms of parliamentary democracy. Comparing the impact of the governmental policy agenda set by the technocratic cabinet vis-à-vis the previous ‘political’ executives, and measuring the reactions of the different parliamentary actors, it is possible to test a number of empirical propositions concerning the transformation of the adversarial mode that emerged in past years into a more or less consensual parliamentary atmosphere.