With three colourful terms behind him, Berlusconi confirmed he would try for a fourth time to become premier, saying he was doing it out of "a sense of responsibility" days after his party withdrew its support for the technocrat government of the current prime minister, Mario Monti.
The media mogul told reporters he was running to win and that "the campaign is already on".
Berlusconi stepped down last year amid a severe debt crisis. Allegations of his involvement with an underage prostitute and reports that he hosted sex-filled "bunga-bunga" parties also clouded his premiership. He has since been convicted of tax fraud and faces low favourability ratings in the polls.
Grazie, Signor Berlusconi. Glad you're back in the arena and I hope you lose after entertaining the hell out of the world...