This paper furnishes a survey of recent investigations and of the current tribology research trends in Italy. Several topics related to tribology are investigated in several different departments of universities, research centres and industries. Some basic studies on friction and lubrication also at the atomic-scale level are reported. A big effort is addressed to researches on surface topography, contact mechanics aspects and particularly on surface coatings and treatments. Indentation and scratching techniques are used for the characterization of both coatings and bulk materials down to the nanoscale. Mechanical characterisation of materials and material processing involve tribological aspects too. Investigations on the wear behaviour of different materials for applications in the field of biotribology are also being carried out. The increasing interest of the industrial world in tribological problems is producing a lot of collaborations among universities, research centres and industries. Several tribological components and practical applications are investigated, such as lubricated sliding bearings, gas and magnetic bearings, gears, sealing systems, automotive and rail components. Investigations are often completed by diagnostic studies for monitoring or maintenance purposes.