In spite of the public policy that should have "solved" the issue some 30 years ago, the phenomenon of unauthorized building in the "Mezzogiorno" not only remains unsolved, but it has also taken incredibly serious and complex features. This essay unfolds in three movements, and aims at waking up the debate around this issue by proposing an updated and pragmatic point of view. First, it reconstructs a sort of general framework where the main trends and factors that have contributed to the current situation are highlighted. Second, it focuses on concrete practices and describes the major declinations that "abusivismo" has taken in peri-urban and coastal territories. Finally, it proposes three future-oriented "moves" in order to overcome the actual impasse of the public action and to start a new season of policies, where unauthorised settlements could be involved in a more comprehensive reform for southern urban contexts.