The experiences of municipal and territorial political organization are examined as a resource rather than as a weakness and not as a challenge to the consistency and strength of the national "body". The article considers the incapacity of the centre and the institutions of the liberal state to look towards the "virtuous" models of aggregation and organization of policy at the local level, irrespective of their political appurtenance (radical democratic, reform socialist or social Catholic). It looks at the relationship between centre and periphery from the viewpoint of the latter, posing the question of the impact on the "centre" of the dynamics at the local level. Politics at the territorial and municipal level provide an important test case in the construction of the national State and the successive path of Italian history, in terms of the relationship between State and civil society, that highlight the lines of tension and rupture.
Keywords: Italia, nazione, Stato, municipio, partito, politica