The anti-establishment Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S) emerged victorious from the ballot box in second-round local elections on 19 June with its candidates winning in Rome and Turin.
In the capital 37-year-old civil lawyer Virginia Raggi beat Roberto Giacchetti of the Partito Democratico (PD) of prime minister Matteo Renzi, with 67.15 per cent to 32.85 per cent
In Turin, 31-year-old ex Bocconi university student Chiara Appendino defeated incumbent mayor and PD stalwart Piero Fassino by 54.56 per cent to 45.44 per cent in what was perhaps the only really unexpected result of the elections.
In Milan the centre-left candidate Beppe Sala, the former CEO of last year’s EXPO, instead claimed an important victory, winning by a narrow margin over Stefano Parisi of the centre right with 51.70 per cent to 48.30 per cent
The PD also carried the day in Bologna, where incumbent mayor Virginio Merola, a member of an anti-Renzi minority within the party, won a second mandate against his Lega Nord opponent Lucia Borgonzoni 54.64 per cent to 45.36 per cent.
Naples returned independent ex magistrate Luigi De Magistris to office for a second term with a convincing 66.85 per cent against centre-right candidate Gianni Lettieri, also his opponent in the 2011 elections, who took 33.15 per cent.
The overall turnout was 50.54 per cent, down from 59.94 per cent for the first-round vote on 5 June.