First woman mayor of Florence, Sara Funaro, Image courtesy of PRESS OFFICE OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF FLORENCE

Florence votes in first woman mayor

By Region Central Italy News

The centre-left has retained control of the mayoralties of Florence and Bari, won back Perugia from the centre-right, and swept all five regional capitals up for vote, including Potenza and Campobasso. Florence voted in its first woman mayor.

In Florence, centre-left candidate Sara Funaro defeated centre-right candidate Eike Schmidt, making Funaro the first woman mayor of Florence. Funaro expressed her excitement.

Funaro’s predecessor, PD member Dario Nardella, said “Sara will be a very great mayor”.     

The new mayor beat former Uffizi director and centre-right candidate Eike Schmidt by around 60% to 40%.

Funaro said she was thrilled to be the first woman mayor of Florence.

“I’m a bit excited, I say that sincerely.”

“I feel the very great emotion of all these months, of being the first female first citizen of Florence.

 “It has been a very long and very beautiful marathon,” said Funaro. She dedicated her win to her late grandfather, Piero Bargellini, a former mayor of Florence during the Great Flood of 1966.

“From afar I’d like to tell him a phrase that has always stayed in my heart, when he used to say that he had made so many declarations of love for Florence that he had to marry her.

 “I’d like to tell him ‘today granddad I’m marrying her too’, this wonderful city. I’ll give my all to do the best for Florence. I’ll be the mayor of all Florentines, male and female”.

Centre-left take all 5 regional capitals

Elly Schlein, leader of the Democratic Party (PD), praised the victories. She said it was a clear message to Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing government, indicating a rejection of their policies.

Schlein declared, “An historic victory for the PD and the progressive camp.” She also noted the cities have called for no more cuts to healthcare, better wages, and opposition to differentiated autonomy.

“We won in all six regional capitals, snatching three of them from the right and with three new mayors.

“From Florence to Bari, from Campobasso to Perugia, from Potenza to Cagliari.

“It is irrevocable: the cities have rejected the governing right and sent a clear message to Giorgia Meloni.

“No more cuts to healthcare, no more low wages and no more differentiated autonomy”.


In Bari, Vito Leccese was elected over Fabio Romito of the centre-right, expressing gratitude for the unexpected victory and commitment to hard work ahead.+

He said “we are only at the beginning because the hard work will start only from the proclamation.

“It is an extraordinary result, which goes far beyond my expectations”.

Perugia, Potenza and Campobasso

 In Perugia, Vittoria Ferdinandi won against Margherita Scoccia of the centre-right, securing around 53% of the vote.

The centre-left also claimed wins in Potenza and Campobasso, with Marialuisa Forte narrowly beating Aldo De Benedettis in Campobasso, and Vincenzo Telesca winning in Potenza with a significant margin.

However, the centre-right captured the largest city in Sicily, Caltanissetta, and narrowly retained Cremona.

Marche stays aligned with centre-right

The region of Marche saw a trend to the centre-right in the European elections. This continued in the regional election run-offs with three more Marche towns, Urbino, Recanati and Osimo, voting for centre-right mayors.

Marche’s centre-right Governor Francesco Acquaroli said, “The results of the ballot have arrived and I congratulate the new mayors of Recanati, Osimo and Urbino, Emanuele Pepa, Francesco Pirani and Maurizio Gambini, who join those of Ascoli Piceno, Fano, Potenza Picena, Cingoli, Pergola, Monte Urano and the many other municipalities where votes were cast a fortnight ago,” he said.

“It is an important and significant result that gives us even more strength to continue changing our region.”

Low voter turnout

Senate Speaker Ignazio La Russa, a key figure in Meloni’s Brothers of Italy (FdI) party, attributed the centre-right losses to low voter turnout in the run-offs. The turnout for the run-offs was 47.71%, down from 62.83% in the first round two weeks previously.

Leave a Reply