Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom political party suffered an embarrassing defeat in local elections on Monday.
Those losses coincided with the resumption of Berlusconi's trial - where he stands accused of abuse of power, and sex with an under-age girl.
So what is the future for the man under pressure? Is Berlusconi's reign nearing its end?
Inside Story presenter Felicity Barr, discusses with Nucccia Bianchini, an editor for the Italian news agency Agenzia Giornalistica Italia; Andrea Teti, an international relations lecturer at the University of Aberdeen; and James Walston, a professor of international relations at the American Univeristy.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Tuesday, May 31, 2011.