Italy has had many forms of government in its intermittent history as a nation. The most common head of state titles have been King and President, while the head of government has most often used the title of Prime Minister. Nevertheless, there have been occasional exceptions. Harry Turtledove has made even more changes to Italy's governing style in his fiction.
In the home timeline, Italy's parliamentary republic, established in the 1940s, remained in effect more than 150 years later. In 2097, the incumbent Prime Minister was frequently criticized in the press.
The Kingdom of Italy emerged victorious from the Second World War in the 1940s. Although it was clearly a junior partner in the Axis behind Germany and Japan, Italy maintained a respectable colonial empire in Africa into the 21st century. The head of state was the King, who was regarded as a figurehead, although the presence of a charismatic individual on the throne could influence policy. In the 1920s, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini became known by the informal title of Duce, which was later adopted formally as the title of the head of government. The Duce was understood to be the true power behind the throne.
The Grand Duchy of Italy was unified from several disparate nation-states which mostly shared a common language and culture. The Grand Dukes strove to bring Italy into the modern era, but were hampered by belligerent backward-thinkers such as the Aquinists.
Benito Mussolini appears directly as Prime Minister (informally Duce) in Worldwar and The War That Came Early. In the former series, his final fate and successor are unrevealed, while the latters series ends with him still in power, although he is likely to be overthrown before long. Mussolini is also referenced as the incumbent head of government in the part of "Hail! Hail!" set in OTL.