This paper is aimed to elucidate the ecological scenario in Italy in the Early to Middle Pleistocene, when species of the genus Homo are known to spread across Europe in two distinct waves: earlier than 1.2 Ma and at about 600 ka, respectively. This topic represents both (1) a fundamental aspect for a better understanding of the factors that allowed humans to colonize the middle latitudes of Eurasia, and (2) a reasonable frontier for current Quaternary palaeobiology, thanks to increasing knowledge of regional and local patterns. As for Italy, a combination of palaeobotanical and palaeontological data sets shows on the one hand a general complexity in both space and time, and on the other hand changes of considerable importance within and among the biological communities. These changes had a major importance during the worldwide change in the Earth climatic system known as "Middle Pleistocene Revolution", which according to our data culminates with crucial effects of the extreme conditions of MIS 16. Subsequently, during great part of the Middle Pleistocene, the peculiar features of the Italian territory may have favoured isolation and a local persistence of plant populations and possibly mammal taxa, humans included, as for instance suggested by the corrected chronology of the Ceprano calvarium.