Keywords: Italian Local Government; Municipal Merging; Financial Incentives; Regulatory Constraints; Cooperative Solutions.
Despite the age-old problem of local governments' hyper-fragmentation, the municipal merging has become a significant phenomenon in Italy only since 2014. This data could therefore be considered a deserved success. The article aims to critically evaluate the phenomenon, comparing the number of successful cases with that of the popular consultations promoted, as well as with the amount of financial resources absorbed and the size gain obtained. A less optimistic picture emerges, in which much remains to be done for an effective process of revision of the institutional architecture. Besides generous financial incentives, a coherent and stable regulatory framework is needed.