The paper takes as its starting point two recent facts on the interpretation of which there is broad agreement: the existence of a major crisis in Italy, and the exercise of a strong role by the President of the Italian Republic. The thesis developed in the article is that there is a link between the two phenomena and that in the Italian republican parliamentary system, in times of crisis, the President can exercise all the powers that the Constitution confers him. In fact, the crisis weakens the factors that normally limit the role and powers of the President, who appears to acquire an autonomous legitimation. The crisis causes a bicephalous executive to emerge, even in those countries, like Italy, where the head of state is not elected directly by the people. It appears that this two-headed expression of the executive during a time of crisis does not constitute an exception, but rather the physiological expression of a parliamentary form of government in a republican system in times of crisis.