Although this may look like a thrown away, trampled piece of gum photographed from up close in the shrubs, it is in fact an insect. A member of the family Membracidae (or Treehoppers or Thorn bugs), to be more precise. Their surreal looks have a camouflage purpose and their remarkable outgrowths discourages predators to eat them. There are 3200 known species in over 600 genera -all over the globe except for Antarctica- and these creatures are the Lady Gaga('s) of the animal kingdom;
Sources and photo's: Wikipedia, Why Evolution is True, and this wonderful PDF with many more photo's. First photo; Cladonata Benitezi (Male).
And this moustachioed cutie is a larvae of Anchistrotus.
Below some drawings of Membracidae, found on the Italian Wiki page;