Keywords: Presidential prerogatives, parliamentary form of government, Napolitano's presidency.
This essay in its first part firstly affirms the methodological necessity to avoid a merely
formal approach in the legal study of the role of the Head of State. Starting from this
methodological assumption, the essay analyzes some of the most debated issues regarding
the presidential role: the President's accountability or its lack thereof; the function to guarantee the continuity of the legal order; the President's role within a parliamentary form
of government and more generally the possibility to attribute a prescriptive value (instead
of a merely descriptive one) to the classification of the form of government. In its second
part, the paper looks at some of the defining moments, from a constitutional perspective,
of Napolitano's presidency.