Rome's new mayor meets pope

Virginia Raggi met Pope Francis at Vatican on 1 July.

Rome's newly-elected mayor Viriginia Raggi met with Pope Francis for the first time at the Vatican at 10.30 on 1 July.

Raggi, of the anti-establishment Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S), was accompanied by her staff, her parents and her seven-year-old son Matteo.

The private audience was arranged in haste and was only requested on 22 June, the day before the 37-year-old Raggi took office as the first female – and youngest – mayor of Rome.

Pope Francis had cleared July of all private meetings but, as Bishop of Rome, he made an exception for the capital's new first citizen who is described as a Catholic but not a regular church-goer.

Raggi's election campaign included her well-publicised intention to pursue the Vatican for up to €400 million in allegedly unpaid property taxes. However she shares some common ground with Pope Francis such as a desire to provide opportunities to disadvantaged suburbs, implement administrative reforms and unravel corruption.

Pope Francis did not conceal his dislike for Raggi's predecessor Ignazio Marino, culminating in the pontiff's terse denial that he invited the former mayor to join the papal visit to Philadelphia last September.