As one of the Axis Powers, Italy achieved many stunning victories during World War II, and left the war with a massively expanded sphere of influence. The sweetness of victory soon went sour however, as the Atlantropa project destroyed the Italian economy by beaching almost all of her trade ports. Furious at Germany, Mussolini broke away from the German sphere and ditched German policies. This would be the inception of Italy's slow transition towards liberalization, accelerated by the ascension of the reformist Galeazzo Ciano after Mussolini's death. Italy would go on to form the Triumvirate with Turkey and Iberia. By 1962, however, tensions within the Triumvarite are near a boiling point, and Ciano's leadership is being challenged by fascist hardliners. Italy now stands at a crossroads, with many branching paths for their future.
- Allohistorical Allusion: The Piazza Fontana bombing might still happen on 12 December 1969, causing a crisis in Italian democracy.
- Black Shirt: The Trope Namer is still present in Italy. A large part of the Verona Conference is dealing with how much power they should have; Ciano wants to limit their arrest powers, while Scorza and his allies want to keep the Black Shirts' powers as is.
- Cult of Personality: While the personality cult around the Duce is nowhere near what it once was, it is still a powerful part of Italian propaganda. Posters declaring the greatness of the Duce are commonplace, and the people that find themselves in disagreement with the idea that Mussolini or Ciano are the greatest leaders on the planet tend to be beaten up or even lynched, in some cases. However, Ciano himself wishes to dissolve the personality cult, as it will not mesh with democracy.
- Culture Police: MinCulPop, the Ministry of Popular Culture, still exists by the mod start and tries to hold its grip over the private life of Italians, despite it being widely ridiculed by the most of population for its ineffectiveness and Obstructive Bureaucrat tendencies. Ciano wants to abolish it completely, while Scorza believes in its necessity and wants to transform into a modern and actually efficient institution.
- Democracy Is Flawed: Compared to Germany, Italy under Ciano can reform into a sincere democracy with a relative ease, but it still has to face many challenges, including a large number of Fascists that are still relevant in the political sphere; if the Italians aren't careful, the country could slide back into fascism once again.
- The Empire: While not as prominently as neighboring Germany, Italy also massively expanded its domains during the Second World War in accordance with fascist expansionist ambitions, and now rules over a significant chunk of the world spanning three continents. Predictably, Italy's empire is filled with collaborators and many, many resistance movements.
- The Federation: A democratic or socialist Italy could transition into this gradually, as colonial rule gives way to granting greater autonomy and equal rights.
- Fun with Acronyms: The acronym of the Ministry of Popular Culture, MinCulPop, sounds similar to the Italian word for "arse", something which makes the already unpopular ministry an even bigger butt of a joke among the Italians.
- Gaia's Lament: More so than any other Mediterranean country, Italy has been left holding the costs of the Atlantropa Project. Most of its ports became unusable due to the lowered sea level, and it has to maintain a large swathe of worthless desert in what was once the seabed of the Adriatic.
- Historical In-Joke: If Göring manages to conquer Italy, it could be reorganized into puppet state called Italian Social Republic, which holds the same name as OTL's pro-Nazi puppet state in the northern Italy in the end of WWII.
- Hostile Terraforming: The Atlantropa project turned out to be a complete disaster for the Italians, since the main trade port in Venice found itself landlocked and the salt deserts of the drained Adriatic Sea were of no use for Italy.
- In Spite of a Nail:
- Should Italy fail to handle the ensuing chaos following the Oil Crisis, or the democratic reforms instituted by Ciano devolve into a dysfunctional mess, the country could wind up in an even bloodier version of OTL's Years of Lead, effectively ending its time in the sun as a major power.
- Not unlike OTL, Italian ties with the Japanese, whether in terms of culture or Realpolitik, remain relatively strong. Though in TNO, this could potentially lead it into joining the Co-Prosperity Sphere.
- Kingmaker Scenario: Unlike Germany, Japan and the USA, Italy is not a superpower and cannot really 'win' the Cold War per se, but it remains the fourth-largest economy in the world, after said superpowers, and is a huge boon to whichever superpower that manages to invite Italy into their bloc (either the OFN or the Co-Prosperity Sphere). That being said, when the Oil Crisis hits, Italy's economic and colonial collapse is even worse for the faction they join.
- Only Sane Man: Between Iberian economic posturing and Turkish territorial disputes, Italy remains the only member of the Triumvirate who focuses on the reality that Germany will come after them all the second their alliance collapses.
- Pet the Dog: As a last Take That! against Hitler, Mussolini, right before his death, welcomed thousands of Jews and other "undesirables" who were escaping from the Reich.
- Press X to Die: Trying to restore Fascism as the BN or abolish the monarchy as the FD leads to the military overthrowing the government.
- Realpolitik: Despite the noticeable ideological differences between them, a democratic Italy can become a full-fledged member of Japan's Co-Prosperity Sphere, owing to the long history of relationship between two countries and the benefits their friendship can provide.
- Cincinnatus: In Ciano's democratic path, Umberto willingly gives up all his power, turning the position of the monarchy into that of a figurehead.
- The Good King: Umberto II is a capable, relatively apolitical and pro-democracy ruler who prefers to act as a symbolic figurehead. In Ciano's route, he willingly gives up executive power to make way for democracy, cementing his image as the most beloved figure in Italy.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: The King of Italy's full list of titles is His Imperial and Royal Majesty Umberto II, by the Grace of God and the Will of the Nation King of Italy and Albania, Emperor of Ethiopia, First Marshal of the Empire.
- Broken Pedestal: Ciano has long lost faith in the Fascist system as a means to keep Italy strong and stable. He now wants to end the fascist legacy of his father-in-law whom he once served loyally.
- Cincinnatus: After all of his desired reforms are implemented, Ciano will resign from his position and allow democratic elections for a new Italian Prime Minister.
- Internal Reformist: Duce Ciano has a fading loyalty to the fascist system in the wake of the German-Italian split. If not convinced otherwise, he will peacefully bring Italy out of Fascism in time.
- Pragmatic Villainy: The least charitable way to describe Ciano. He is still a fascist, but he understands that the system envisioned by Mussolini has failed Italy.
- Commie Nazis: Emboldened by the "left-wing fascists" and other PNF members who believe that the real Fascist revolution was never truly tried, Scorza can attempt to revive the more leftist ideals of original Fascism, including Syndicalist economic organizations, which were seemingly betrayed by Mussolini.
- Crushing the Populace: If Scorza takes the right-wing fascist path, he'll often resort to this to hold onto power. With the Venice Uprising, he crushes it, no matter how "left-wing" his policies were
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: At least in gender terms. Scorza can pursue equal rights for the Italian women and even find a place for them in designated branches of the Italian armed forces.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Due to being empowered as Duce to pass any policy that he wants, even when they logically contradict each other, Scorza can be portrayed in this way, by starting by opening up rights for women and the youth before suddenly revoking them, or by cracking down on women and youths before suddenly offering them clemency.
- Internal Reformist: If he chooses to follow the left-wing (instead of right-wing) fascist path, Scorza seeks to reignite the revolutionary ideals of fascism, and introduce some reforms into Fascist Italy that can be considered liberal to an extent (at the bare minimum, anti-traditional).
- A Lighter Shade of Black: Scorza remains a resolved fascist in every path, but though he can continue the repressive policies of Mussolini, he can also redefine the very concept of what Fascism actually means, bringing back to its idealistic roots and giving it a more "humane" face. This can mean implementing limited democratic reforms, giving women their denied rights and opportunities for self-realization and establishing worker's control of factories.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: If Ciano prevails over the hardliners, he will give Scorza a task of "the most geopolitical importance", that being a position of the ambassador to the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, to keep "the flame of the fascist revolution shine its light" in the Caribbean.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: There's nothing stopping a player from making Scorza violently purge the Second Verona Congress, going full Stay in the Kitchen on women's rights, and crushing and censoring youth protests, without once compromising on enforcing his rule through bloodshed.
- Allohistorical Allusion: The Via Fani Massacre, during which unknown terrorists kill Moro's five bodyguards and kidnap him, will happen in TNO almost exactly like it did in real life, but in 1972 instead of 1978.
- Chummy Commies: Nenni wishes to liberalise Italian society, while creating a strong welfare state to make sure that Italy's poorest are cared for.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In order to bring forth socialism, Nenni can abolish the monarchy and turn Italy into a socialist republic. Considering that King Umberto II willingly gave up his powers to make way for democracy, and is one of the most beloved figures in Italy, deposing him is a very bad idea that will end up in Nenni being overthrown by Giovanni De Lorenzo (whom Ciano originally tasked with launching coups against any government that goes too extreme).
- Evil Reactionary: If the Blocchi Nazionali led by Almirante wins the first post-Ciano elections, they will put a halt to some of Ciano's reforms, maintain the Italian corporatocracy and elements of the old Fascist government, and begin a mildly authoritarian conservative rule. If they are really feeling bold, they can straight up attempt to slide back to fascism, which will result in unforeseen consequences.
Other Important People
- The Coup: Galeazzo Ciano's final order to De Lorenzo, named Piano Solo, empowers him to organize a quick coup against a government that threatens the nascent Italian democracy (for example, if Almirante's Blocchi Nazionali tries to undergo a full-fledged fascist restoration or Nenni's Fronte Democratico tries to proclaim a socialist republic) and establish an emergency committee to end the ensuing political crisis and prevent any attempts to reinstituting fascism in Italy.
- Emergency Authority: Following his successful coup, De Lorenzo assumes emergency powers to "protect" the Italian democracy and eliminate the threats of fascists, socialists and other "subversive" elements to democracy in Italy.
- Secret Police: Duce Ciano chose De Lorenzo to be in charge of Servizio Informazioni Militare, the Italian military intelligence organization, in order to sabotage the efforts of his political opponents and contain the spread of fascist movements, playing a key role in dismantling the fascist system.