Italian Communist Party

The Italian Communist Party (Italian: Partito Comunista Italiano, PCI) was a communist political party in Italy.

Italian Communist Party
Partito Comunista Italiano
AbbreviationPCI
General SecretariesPalmiro Togliatti
Luigi Longo
Enrico Berlinguer
Alessandro Natta
Achille Occhetto
Founded21 January 1921 (1921-01-21)
(as Communist Party of Italy)
15 May 1943 (1943-05-15)
(as Italian Communist Party)
Dissolved3 February 1991 (1991-02-03)
Split fromItalian Socialist Party
Succeeded byDemocratic Party of the Left[1][2]
(legal successor)
Communist Refoundation Party
(main split)
HeadquartersVia delle Botteghe Oscure 4, Rome
Newspaperl'Unità
Youth wingCommunist Youth Federation
Membership989,708 (1991)
2,252,446 (1947)[3]
IdeologyCommunism
Marxism–Leninism[4][5][6]
From the 1970s also:
Revisionism[7]
Democratic socialism
Political positionBefore 1970s:
Left-wing to far-left[8][9]
After 1970s:
Left-wing
National affiliationNational Liberation Committee (1943–47)
Popular Democratic Front (1947–56)
International affiliationComintern (1921–1943)
Cominform (1947–1956)
European Parliament groupCommunists and Allies (1973–1989)
European United Left (1989–1991)
Colours  Red
Party flag

The PCI was founded as Communist Party of Italy on 21 January 1921 in Livorno by seceding from the Italian Socialist Party (PSI).[10] Amadeo Bordiga and Antonio Gramsci led the split. Outlawed during the Fascist regime, the party played a major role in the Italian resistance movement. It changed its name in 1943 to PCI and became the second largest political party of Italy after World War II, attracting the support of about a third of the vote share during the 1970s. At the time, it was the largest communist party in the West, with peak support reaching 2.3 million members, in 1947,[11] and peak share being 34.4% of the vote (12.6 million votes) in the 1976 general election.

The PCI transitioned from doctrinaire communism to democratic socialism by the 1970s or the 1980s[12][13][14][15][16][17] and adhered to the Eurocommunist trend. In 1991, it was dissolved and re-launched as the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS), which joined the Socialist International and the Party of European Socialists. The more radical members of the organization formally seceded to establish the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC).