Europe

Italy's Berlusconi turns 80 amid reflections and greetings

  • FILE -- In this file photo taken on March 25, 2009, Silvio Berlusconi, then Italian Premier, jokes with Carabinieri paramilitary police officers as he waits for the arrival of Sweden's Royals, at Rome's Villa Madama. Silvio Berlusconi is marking his 80th birthday quietly with his family, amid a flurry of greetings and reflections on his influence over a political career spanning three decades. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    FILE -- In this file photo taken on March 25, 2009, Silvio Berlusconi, then Italian Premier, jokes with Carabinieri paramilitary police officers as he waits for the arrival of Sweden's Royals, at Rome's Villa Madama. Silvio Berlusconi is marking his 80th birthday quietly with his family, amid a flurry of greetings and reflections on his influence over a political career spanning three decades. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE -- In this file photo taken on July 5, 2016, ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi salutes as he leaves the San Raffaele hospital three weeks after undergoing heart surgery, in Milan, Italy. Silvio Berlusconi is marking his 80th birthday quietly with his family, amid a flurry of greetings and reflections on his influence over a political career spanning three decades. (Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP Photo)

    FILE -- In this file photo taken on July 5, 2016, ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi salutes as he leaves the San Raffaele hospital three weeks after undergoing heart surgery, in Milan, Italy. Silvio Berlusconi is marking his 80th birthday quietly with his family, amid a flurry of greetings and reflections on his influence over a political career spanning three decades. (Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE -- In this file photo taken on June 25, 2008, Silvio Berlusconi, then Italian Premier, gestures miming handcuffs as he speaks during the Confesercenti traders association's annual assembly in Rome. Silvio Berlusconi is marking his 80th birthday quietly with his family, amid a flurry of greetings and reflections on his influence over a political career spanning three decades. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

    FILE -- In this file photo taken on June 25, 2008, Silvio Berlusconi, then Italian Premier, gestures miming handcuffs as he speaks during the Confesercenti traders association's annual assembly in Rome. Silvio Berlusconi is marking his 80th birthday quietly with his family, amid a flurry of greetings and reflections on his influence over a political career spanning three decades. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)  (The Associated Press)

Silvio Berlusconi is marking his 80th birthday quietly with his family, amid a flurry of greetings and reflections on his political career in Italy spanning more than two decades.

Italian television and dailies used the occasion Thursday to contemplate the legacy of the three-time former premier and billionaire media mogul, with Corriere della Sera commenting that Berlusconi had "colonized the imagination of the Italians like no other political leader."

Commentators also noted his frequent gaffes, long judicial battles and penchant for unusual headgear.

Berlusconi's political fortunes have waned since being ousted from parliament over a tax fraud conviction. He underwent open-heart surgery earlier this year.

The AC Milan football club posted a birthday video for Berlusconi on its website, while political allies tweeted their greetings under the hashtag Berlusconi80.