Extraordinary. Impossible to imagine Brown or Salmond saying anything similar to il cavaliere.
And so the Prime Minister has gone on the offensive. His tirades against a judiciary and a media he believes to be pursuing a personal vendetta against him have the familiarity of a broken record. But eyebrows were raised in Turin on Tuesday night, when he opened both barrels on Mercedes Bresso, the bespectacled, centre-left governor of the northern Piemonte region.
"You know why Bresso is always in a bad mood?" the 73-year-old chortled. "Because in the morning when she gets up, she looks at herself in the mirror to put her make-up on – and sees herself. And so her day is already ruined."
Ms Bresso, 65, hit back immediately at the permatanned leader, who has admitted to succumbing to the plastic surgeon's knife. "I'm always in a good mood. And regarding make up, I don't use much; I don't need it as much as Berlusconi. I'm young, in good shape and haven't had a facelift."
(At least, not in public ...)