Silvio Berlusconi is a man of great gestures, in every sense of the word. He is regularly caught on camera making nice gestures, often the mano cornuta (more on hand charms, or Italian gestures). Berlusconi can’t resist using the mano cornuta, but jokingly, not as an insult. His familiar ways with world leaders, like our very own Jan Peter Balkenende, are charming indeed.

In comparison, Romano Prodi, a great European leader and nicknamed il professore, appears more reserved in his body language. On camera, he appears mostly smiling amicably, sometimes withdrawn and sometimes exuberant. It didn’t stop Prodi from snatching last weeks election victory. Personally, I think Italy can be proud of the grandeur their two rival politicans display. It is something we lack in the Netherlands, despite the occasional gesture by Wouter Bos.