The Italian area is characterized by strong areal and temporal variability of tectonic and magmatic signatures. This variability affects also the entire Central-Western Mediterranean (Fig. 1 and 2) and challenges the applicability of classical plate tectonics models (e.g., Lustrino et al., 2011). This variability, coupled to the incompleteness of geological and geophysical observables and to their non-unique interpretation, resulted in the proposal of several, often contrasting, geodynamic scenarios of evolution. In this work we use thermo-tectonic, magmatological, and plate-kinematics constraints (what we know) to propose our best-guess geodynamic evolution (what we imagine) from the Late Cretaceous to the Present. Alternative geodynamic scenarios proposed in the literature are briefly discussed. The (Permian-Early Cretaceous) rifting and drifting stages of the Alpine cycle will not be treated in this work, although the influence of the paleogeography inherited during these stages on the architecture of the contractional and extensional features developed in the Tertiary are taken into account. A movie illustrating our idea of evolution of the western-central Mediterranean area during the last 50 Ma is provided, together with a frame-by-frame pdf file containing additional information and some notes, and can be downloaded from the Journal of Virtual Explorer repository system.