Sara Funaro becomes first woman mayor of Florence

Sara Funaro becomes first woman mayor of Florence

The Democratic Party candidate won just over 60% of the vote in the runoff.

Tue 25 Jun 2024 11:53 AM

As Florence, Prato and Perugia swear in their first woman mayors in centuries of uninterrupted male leadership, it feels like the tide is beginning to turn, especially in light of the fact that Italy has both a woman Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.

Eight out of 14 women mayoral candidates recently won the local elections held in major cities: Sara Funaro in Florence, Ilaria Bugetti in Prato, Vittoria Ferdinandi in Perugia, Elena Carnevali in Bergamo, Adriana Poli Bortone in Lecce, Maria Luisa Forte in Campobasso, Laura Nargi in Avellino and Valeria Cittadin in Rovigo). It’s progress for a country that had 145 woman mayors in 1986 and just over a thousand prime cittadine in 2016, although the figure remains low when you look at the bigger picture with only nearly seven per cent of Italy’s mayors being women.

Sara Funaro, the newly elected Mayor of Florence

In Florence, Sara Funaro of the Democratic Party defeated Eike Schmidt, her right-wing opponent and former director of the Uffizi, taking just over 60% of the vote in the runoff ballot. In perfect timing for the city, the win came on June 24, the feast day of San Giovanni, Florence’s patron saint with the traditional firework display to mark the occasion. Outside the Palazzo Vecchio, the newly elected mayor dedicated the victory to her grandfather Piero Bargellini, who guided Florence through the devastation of the 1966 flood. “Thank you all for being here. This isn’t a win for me, but a win for all of us. I applaud you all because you deserve it…There’s nowhere more suitable to say a few words than here on the Arengario of Palazzo Vecchio, the place where my grandfather held his assemblies. I want to dedicate this victory to him. It’s where my nonno said that he’d made so many declarations of love to Florence that he should have wedded the city. Today I’m equally moved, proud and delighted to have married Florence. There couldn’t be a more beautiful wedding!” remarked the new mayor.   

Born in Florence in 1976, Sara Funaro has a degree in psychology from the University of Florence. She was the city councillor for education, health, equal opportunities and integration under previous mayor Dario Nardella’s administration, as well as serving as vice-president of ASP Montedomini social services association and a board member of Fondazione Meyer, the charity supporting the city’s children’s hospital. Her campaign promises include equal opportunities for citizens, affordable housing, completion of the tramlines, urban greening and a safer city. Read more (in Italian):   

Congratulations to the new Mayor of Florence!

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