The article summarizes the reasons of the failure of the public sector reforms undertaken by the Italian governments in the last 20 years. The author puts forward a strategy for the transformation and innovation of the whole system of PAs in Italy that is facing a situation of economic uncertainty and public finance crisis. At the heart of the proposal there is an overall view that integrates into a coherent design more specific guidelines for transforming central and local Italian PA systems. The actions proposed in the article can be grouped according to a series of profiles such as change management, boundaries of the institutional network, structures and resources, rules, innovation. These different aspects are not in sequence as steps of a path, but they are connected by circular links, complementary orientation and mutual responsiveness. This is likely a more efficient and lean system of government, but also open, sensitive to the governance of a dense network of actors in those processes determining the outcomes of main public policies (welfare, education and training, security, etc.).