Natural disaster metaphors cover all the front pages: it's an earthquake. The Prime Minister's party "reduced to rubble in the cities" says Corriere della Sera, among others, and one cannot but think of the real rubble of l'Aquila, left behind and covered up by the Italian government and its media.
In the meantime Berlusconi warns the liberated citizens of Milan and Naples "You will regret this" and predicts the incumbent catastrophe "pray the Lord to be saved". A suspicious mind may have maliciously wondered who he meant by Lord.
Berlusconi, the papers remind us, turned this local elections campaign into a referendum on his persona and his leadership. The people's response is splashed all over the press: FAILED!
With a few exceptions, today's front pages are all about the Emperor's defeat, rather than about the winners, only the (real) left wing papers do not miss a rare chance to rejoice. "I can't believe it!" titles ilManifesto, "Thank you Italy" goes l'Unità.
But on a day like this one really does not want to miss the right wing press. In an early online edition yesterday Libero chose to open with the winners:
"NOW ENJOY COMMUNISM".
The morning edition though throws the ball back to the looser, hitting with satire:
Crying and not shagging"
(The headline is difficult to translate, because one should be able to render the Neapolitan dialect. What it made me think of and I found quite hilarious is "BLOW NOT BLOW JOB").
The Berlusconi family paper ilGiornale managed to avoid the discussion about winners and losers by turning the whole business into a sentence of insanity.
Despite the intentions, it was a treat to see a Che Guevara flag on the front page:
What a day...