That's why some viewed the Don Camillo-Peppone friendship as an alegory of the "Historical Compromise" sought by some Christian Democrats and Communists in the 70's.
The Red Brigade assasination of Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro, in 1978; the death of charismatic Eurocommunist leader Enrico Berlinguer, one or two years later and, finally, the decomposition of the old party regime, led to a new situation, where dreams have faded, mutual understanding is gone, and sharks like Berlusconi have the upper hand.
I can see a point about loss of innocence (or dreams) through the events you mention (Aldo Moro), but i hope noone interprets the above as, you know, meaning that "the old party regime" was good. The old system as the embodiment of "mutual understanding" - thats being way too nice for it.
The reason the old party system broke down in the early nineties was because it was rotten to the core. Christian-Democrats, Socialists (in fact free-market minded opportunists) and Communists had divided up the pie thoroughly: each had one of the three public TV stations as a mouthpiece, and on local/regional level each had their own government domains to rule. On the national level the Communists were forever isolated while the other two, by consequence, were forever in power. It had lead to a massive corruption, infesting the system with links between government and mafia at every level, with many-time Prime Minister Andreotti taken to be deeply involved himself. Legality and illegality turned out to be intertwined, and much of the terrorist violence of the 70s etc, which was perpetrated by both radical left and shadowy right-wing organisations, actually came forth from
this system. The Communist Party, in its turn, remained relatively clean only because of the extent to which it'd been isolated.
When first, anticipating on and reacting to 1989, the Communists drastically renewed themselves and renamed themselves the Party of the Democratic Left - and then the Christian Democrats broke away from tradition (and then broke up altogether) as the corruption/mafia scandals finally came 'above table' one after the other, it was a very hopeful time, a time of renewal. Di Pietro, the prosecutor who dug up so many of the scandals and forced prominent politicians to finally account for their actions, was a public hero then. The relatively small Socialist party, which had been the private 'kingdom of the particularly corrupt Craxi, simply dissapeared entirely; the Christian-Democratic moloch split up in left and right-wing groupings that all distanced themselves from the old ruling cliques, and the ex-Communists started working together with various left-liberal groups in coalitions like "the Olive". New centre-left and centre-right parties were founded by the dozens, opening up the cronyist system in which every single job and assignment had been determined by party affiliation. Even in Siciliy an anti-mafia party (La Rete) made deep inroads in city government.
Its just a pity that all the hopes which the crumbling of the old system had evoked, have all come to naught. In the end, the unfamiliarness of the new situation just became too much for many Italians, I guess. In the old system, you knew what to expect - which party to be a member of, who to pay off, end of story, nobody bothers you as you go on with your business. Life became more complicated when everything was suddenly exposed and debated and you didnt know which law might suddenly start to be enforced again. That should explain how Berlusconi could enter the scene - a strong man, not all too hindered by all those abstract, troublesome principles, someone who can make things work. A no-nonsense business tycoon who could run the country like he did his hyper-successful enterprises, with authority and pragmatism. Someone who wont make your life difficult about those little pay-offs, tax evasions and other stuff that you used to do to make life go smooth, cause he understands about them. (Remember that Italy is a country of small entrepreneurs - the average size of a business is five employees, I believe).
Berlusconi is the counter-revolution, one could say - always fulminating against "the red judges", driving through an immunity law in parliament several days before he had to appear for one of the numerous cases of coorruption hed been involved in himself - just last week or the week before; always railing against critical journalists and academics and other members of the "chattering classes", and insisting that instead of all this chaotic critical questioning there should be respect for the authority of government (and business) leaders again ...
He used democracy to win and he'll surely stick to its basic rules, but he has little truck with its values. But, like his erstwhile Slovak counterpart Meciar, the cruder he is, the harsher he cracks down on his critics, the more cocksure he slams, then waves away, his parliamentary critics, the more popularly he becomes among the slightly over 50% of Italians that support the present government. The slightly less than 50%, meanwhile, are ever more exasperated, desperate, or, (as our Italian colleagues after this newest episodes were) just downright embarassed. La Republicca published a cartoon on its front page saying something like, "5 months and 28 days to go until the Irish [EU] presidency" ...