The article deals with the agreements («accordi») between Public Administrations and privates, a quite discussed institution in the Italian legal framework. An analysis of statutory rules as well as of the most influential theories about this sort of contractual relationships is provided. The aim of the article is to contextualise and
question those traditional views that trace agreements to the administrative domain and to a clear-cut distinction between public and private. In this respect, some major transformations of contract as a core legal institution are discussed from a private law-oriented critical perspective. The current complexity of contract law allows to overcome rather traditional approaches, to adopt a view inspired by legal institutionalism and to qualify such agreements as contracts.