With no faction winning a clear majority in Sunday's vote and the two rival leaders claiming victory, a hung Parliament is expected and long, fraught negotiations to form a new government lie ahead.
With 37 percent of the vote, the centre-right alliance comprises the anti-immigrant and eurosceptic Lega party led by Matteo Salvini, while the populist Five Star Movement made the largest gains as a single party.
Italy's future seems uncertain as projections show that no single bloc or party has the support to win a majority in Parliament.
Italy's rival political parties made a final bid for votes on Friday ahead of an election in which former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is gunning for a leading role in shaping any new government.
An ancient gated extension of the city where left-leaning Italians once fought against Mussolini and Hitler has now become a breeding ground for right-wing populism.
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