This special issue has been conceived to address the role of Italy in twenty-first century international politics, presenting a series of essays that could possibly be interesting for an audience that goes beyond the academic community, including policy makers and commentators. The main aim of these essays is not to advance a theoretical interpretation of Italian foreign policy, a task that has already been successfully achieved by more purely academic initia-tives (e.g. Isernia and Longo 2017). The main goal of this collection is rather to try to clarify the current challenges, identifying the available options for Italy’s foreign policy, while considering major risks and opportunities. Italy is directly involved in many of the global dynamics mentioned above, primarily for geopo-litical reasons. It seems, therefore, crucial to identify its current position in the stormy seas of contemporary international politics and to understand its possi-ble contribution.