Italy is a country with a long history of emigration and a very short experience of immigration. The paper first surveys the Italian emigration pattern describing the characteristics of the Italian emigrants (age, sex, skill level), their area of origins and the directions of their movement. The determinants of the migration choice are then analyzed as well as the policies affecting the decision to migrate. The end of the first section provides an analysis of the emigration effects in the areas of origin, namely the positive effect of the remittances and the changes in the composition of the remaining population. The second section surveys the recent Italian immigration phenomenon with a description of the immigrant characteristics, such as area of origin, sex, age, and location in the country. Special attention has been given to the illegality issue because the majority of the immigrants became legal by applying for an amnesty. The determinants of the emigration in the country of origins and the effects in the destination close the picture. The conclusion provides a look at the future and the policy changes that should be adopted.