This paper analyzes cooperative enterprises' networks in the Italian economy, in accordance with recent economic theory, to throw light on the causes of their success of in the last 30 years. We reference the vast literature about business networks to identify some interpretative lines that can be transferred to the cooperative world. On this basis, a typology of the Italian cooperative networks is offered, in order to evaluate the competitive advantages of each type of net, their governance methods, their evolution, and their impact on the recent flourishing of Italian cooperatives. Our conclusion is that the use of networks by co-ops has been very intensive and can still be strengthened, if Italian co-op umbrella organizations will merge. Building large cooperative corporations was often the result of networking, as was the creation of joint stock companies owned by cooperatives.