Feline calicivirus (FCV) is a common pathogen of cats that is particularly widespread in multi-cat environments such as shelters and catteries. FCV infections are usually associated with acute, mild and self-limiting upper respiratory tract disease characterized by oral vesicles/ulcers. Recently, virulent systemic disease (VSD) associated with FCV infection has been reported in the USA and Europe. This paper describes a case of VSD affecting one adult, FIV infected cat ("Oscar") living in a shelter located in Northern Italy; the clinical, post-mortem and laboratory findings indicate that this is the first case of suspected FCV-VSD in this country. Similar to a previous report (Meyer et al., 2011), the disease affected only one cat, while others remained asymptomatic, despite their direct contact with "Oscar". Phylogenetic analysis identified unique features in the "Oscar" FCV isolate. The FIV infection of the patient might have favoured the generation of the virulent FCV strains in this cat.