The Italian government has succeeded neither in employing nor in disposing of its unused, abandoned and decaying stock of properties over the last twenty years. The legislation on it has been changed continuously even more than once in one year. Policy changed direction yet again this year in the 2007 Finance Act. Is there any hope something will happen? I think there are three main causes to this fiasco. 1) No one single office has ever been identified as responsible for implementing the objectives of the legislator. 2) They have not succeeded in creating the necessary co-operation between the many levels of government involved in the policy decision-making process. 3) They have been unable to reconcile the desires of local communities with public and private sector resources necessary for achieving these goals. If we examine the history of bad rules combined with the wrong policies we can perhaps learn to do better, especially if account is also taken of the best practices employed by others and there is the political will to experiment with significant pilot projects.