A mixed year for Italian football, with bankruptcy and match fixing sharing the headlines with some hugely encouraging performances in Europe.
The passion generated by Italy's most fiercely-contested derby match can sometimes spill over into violence.
Only four points separate the top five clubs in what is the most exciting Serie A title race in many years.
A difficult Champions League draw for Juventus will not be welcomed by the Old Lady's Serie A rivals.
Losing finalists last time around, Italy will need to up their game if they are to be contenders in France.
The Serie A title race is wide open - a sign of an improving league or possibly a lowering of standards. Paddy Agnew reports.
After their 2-1 victory over Inter there is now no doubt that Napoli are now title challengers.
Roma coach Rudi Garcia says the conditions at Bologna's Stadio Renato Dall'Ara were more suited to water polo than football.
Italy ran out of steam in their friendly match against Belgium, but before then they were more than a match for the world's number one ranked team.
A fan boycott by ultras of both Roma and Lazio produced a curious atmosphere in the Olympic stadium.