Keywords: Young People; Pope Francis; Italy; International Media; Communication.
Pope Francis will arguably be remembered as one of the most popular figures of the first half of the XXI century. The paper tries to investigate what lies behind his popularity through an analysis of his image among young Italians, using data from the first national survey (2015) investigating the Pope's popularity among youg people. Through a multivariate model it is possible to understand the most important factors in the Pope's success (with its strengths and weaknesses) among this sector of the population. Moreover, the «Pope Francis phenomenon» will be examined from the perspective of how his pontificate is represented in some Italian and European newspapers, in order to compare and/or contrast mass-media imagery with the opinions of young people.