In Italy, 2021 has been a year marking a turning point in the struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic, and a time of economic, political and social transition. The country has reaped several important successes, policy-wise, both with regard to the efficacy of its vaccination campaign and to the drafting of its National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP). All this was achieved after a quite troubled start of the year, with the fall of the Conte II government and the arrival in office of the new Prime Minister, Mario Draghi. The effects of the pandemic and the advent of the Draghi government affected both the dynamic of competition in the Italian party system and the intra-party conflicts. The 2021 round of Italian local elections, involving thousands of municipalities, triggered a surprising victory for the centre left and marked an important shift in the electoral balance of power between Italian parties.