For the first time in its history, Rome has a female mayor, Virginia Raggi. Up north, Turin also saw a woman win the elections on Sunday, Chiara Appendino.
Both victories were seen as a blow to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his governing Democratic Party, as Raggi and Appendino are part of the anti-establishment party Five Stars, cofounded by the sanguine comedian Beppe Grillo.
Raggi is an outspoken 37-year-old lawyer and a socially engaged mother, whose no-nonsense look and barely there makeup seem to telegraph sobriety and earnestness. Rome has been riddled by corruption scandals and Raggi’s casual look, with simple white T-shirts and jeans, appears to have drawn in the capital’s voters.
The brunette, svelte Raggi opted for a sexy black miniskirt and high heels on a recent popular TV show, which struck a cord with viewers.
As for her counterpart in Turin, Italy, the home city of Fiat, voters there also seemed to prefer Appendino’s no-nonsense style. An economist and entrepreneur, as well as a mother, aged 32, the new mayor favors a short, unfussy bob and offhand fashion, such as simple blouse and sweater combos.
But while the new female mayors of Rome and Turin made history in Italy, the French beat them to it two years ago, electing Anne Hidalgo as the first female mayor of Paris.