After its launch by Lord Robert Baden-Powell at the beginning of the XX century, scouting quickly took hold in Italy before being banned by the new fascist Government in the Twenties. Some scout units, however, were able to survive underground in what was called the “silent jungle” operation.
After the war, scouting reemerged, becoming politically (although not officially) linked to the Catholic Church.
The current Italian Prime Minister, Mr Matteo Renzi, was himself a scout, and he just paid a visit to the national meeting of the Italian scouts in San Rossore.
Politically, it was a remainder of the fact that the Prime Minister has Catholic connections and has a very good relationship with the Italian conservative voters, usually wary of his leftist Party which is the de jure heir of the Italian Communist Party.
This is a double-edged sword, however, since Mr Renzi’s opponents often accuse him of attempting to refund the infamous Christian Democratic party which dominated the First Italian Republic.