How Silvio Berlusconi Changed Italy, for Better or Worse

The text is likely a caption for a photograph taken by Andreas Solaro, who is a photographer for Agence France-Presse.

The death of Silvio Berlusconi in June 2023 marked the end of an era in Italian politics. Berlusconi, a real estate and media mogul, had a profound impact on Italian society through his privately owned television channels. His influence extended beyond electoral cycles and shaped the country's sports, daily life, self-image, and popular culture. One anecdote that encapsulates Berlusconi's character is his decision to build a hospital to reroute planes flying near his housing complex. This act exemplifies his ability to navigate and manipulate systems to achieve his goals. Berlusconi's critics viewed him as a symbol of Italy's political and cultural decline, accusing him of using politics to protect his business interests and engaging in womanizing behavior. His polarizing style has not only influenced Italian politics but has also become a global trend, evident in figures like Donald Trump in the United States. Berlusconi's combative campaigning style involved painting his critics as Communists and undermining established institutions.