The idea of network is widely misused, and both scholars and practitioners often refer to it in an inaccurate meaning. Reviewing a wide number of sociological, economical and administrative theoretical studies, the aim of this paper is to outline the distinctive features of the network organisation model. The network model is then applied to Italian environmental agencies. As the system of environmental agencies has been thought since its origin as a network, it certainly represents a unique case in the realm of Italian public administration. The authors aim at showing that Italian environmental agencies not only fit the network model, but they can also be qualified as a network of networks. In order to pick out the causes that may have fostered the emergence of a network-like administration, the characteristics of environmental agencies are thus assessed.