This chapter considers how the characteristics of the Italian mayoralty have changed since 1945 - the underlying assumption being that such analysis requires examination of the formal and informal relations between mayoral incumbents and the 'bearers' of structures with the office is linked. It focuses on changes in mayoral relations with political parties, their constituents and the state apparatus as a whole. The chapter also focuses on changes in: the mayoralty's legal and political functions vis-a-vis the local governmental and national political systems; andhow mayoral incumbents are recruited and what their voters expect of them. Some insight into how far mayors have actually been freed from the pressures of inter- and intra-party power-broking are available from cases where mayors and their giunte fail - through no-confidence motions or mayoral resignations - to reach the end of their natural terms. If direct election has altered mayoral relationships with political parties, it has clearly and obviously also affected mayors' relationships with constituents.