Open Access is a new, alternative way of publishing academic research where scholars themselves - or the funding institutions behind them - pay for appearing on journals, and not for consulting them. This being possible thanks to the internet, OA was born between the late 90's and the early 2000's, while officially becoming a recognised reality in 2003 with the Declaration of Berlin, now signed by more than 300 worldwide institutions. This new model has significantly different features from the more popular subscription based, which was the only one available until about 20 years ago. Its main distinctive characteristic, of course, is a totally free access to content: not only it has no costs, but it is accessible from everyone as long as there is an internet connection. Researchers may prefer publishing on Open Access journals in order to seek a quicker career progression: the publication process is way faster and, thanks to the content being available to every researcher instead of the only subscribers, cites are more frequent. On the downside, influential Open Access journals are still far fewer; also, part of the funds provided by the institutions need to go into Article Processing Charges (APC), not mentioning when authors don't have a university backing them up. Despite having solid advantages and the approval of many countries and institutions, Open Access is still a minor reality and doesn't represent at all a threat for the Subscription publishing model. How is this possible? In order to find an answer, we decided to trace the debate, controversies and widely acknowledged problems of OA.