Virginia Raggi
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Virginia Raggi

Virginia Raggi
Virginia Raggi 2018 (cropped).jpg
34th Mayor of Rome

22 June 2016
Ignazio Marino
Personal details
Virginia Elena Raggi

(1978-07-18) 18 July 1978 (age 43)
Rome, Italy
Political partyFive Star Movement
Andrea Severini
(m. 2008)
Alma materRoma Tre University

Virginia Elena Raggi (Italian pronunciation: [vir'd?i:nja 'radd?i]; born 18 July 1978) is an Italian lawyer and politician serving as Mayor of Rome since 2016. She represents the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S); Raggi is both the first candidate from her party and first woman to be elected as Rome Mayor.[1]


Raggi was born and raised in the Appio-Latino quarter of Rome, and studied law at the Roma Tre University, specialising in judicial and extrajudicial civil law.[2] Despite not having any prior political experience, she credits the birth of her son for sparking her involvement in politics.[3] She was previously a member of local neighborhood boards before joining the Five Star Movement for Rome district XIV in 2011.[4]

At the time of her election Raggi lived with her family in the Ottavia suburb in Northern Rome.[2] She is married to fellow M5S member Andrea Severini with whom she has one child, born in 2009.[2][5]

Election as mayor

In the 2013 municipal election, Raggi was one of four members of the Five Star Movement elected to Rome city council.[6] The maximum term of office lasts five years, but the resignation of mayor Ignazio Marino (a member of the Democratic Party) triggered early elections; Marino was ousted from office after more than half the city's councillors stepped down. Raggi won the closed primary (against Marcello De Vito -- the party's 2013 nominee to the office of mayor -- and other minor candidates) in preparation for the upcoming June 2016 Rome municipal early election.[6] Described by The Economist as "a talented debater",[7] Raggi is the first female mayor of the city. She "promised to fight corruption and bring back Rome's splendor a year after a wide-reaching scandal exposed criminal infiltration in city bidding contracts".[8] and opposed the Rome bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics arguing that the city was in a "delicate moment"[9] pointing out the spiralling deficits in Olympic cities.

Raggi and her party (Five Star Movement, M5S) came in first place in the first round of voting (5 June 2016) in the Rome mayoral election, garnering over 35 percent of the vote.[5] In the second round of voting (19 June 2016), Raggi opposed Roberto Giachetti, a member of the Democratic Party (PD) and Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies in the XVII Legislature, who obtained over 24 percent of the vote in first round. Raggi won the second round with the 67.2 percent of or slightly over 770,000 votes; she is the first woman and the first member of M5S to hold the office of Mayor of Rome.[1]

Mayor of Rome

Raggi in 2018 during a public speech as mayor of Rome
Virginia Raggi during a public speech as mayor of Rome

One of Raggi's first acts as mayor was the withdrawal of the 2024 Olympic bid stating that "with 13 billion euros in debt, Rome can't afford taking on more debt to make cathedrals in the desert".[10][11]

That position was heavily contested: critics argued that withdrawing the bid wasted the chance of renewing the 1960 Olympic infrastructures with little or no expense, as the funds would have been provided by the IOC (1.5 billion euros), private investors (910 million euros), and the Italian Government (3,2 billion);[12] according to a study from the University Tor Vergata, not hosting the Olympics caused a loss of 7.1 billion gross revenue and also an estimated loss of 40,000 job opportunities.[12]

In February 2017, Raggi was put under investigation for two cases of malfeasance in office with regard to decisions on staffing of her private office.[13] However, despite the charges on 10 November 2018 the Court dropped all charges against her due to no motive on her behalf, but instead citing Raffaele Marra being responsible for the illegal hiring practice.[14]

In December 2017 she confirmed that she would not run for another term in 2021, according to an internal rule of her party that allows only two elected terms.[15] On 11 August 2020, Raggi stated that she will stand for re-election.[16] Three days later M5S members voted to remove the rule banning members from serving more than two terms.[17]

Under her tenure both public transport and waste management have been subject of criticism due to poor quality of passenger service and waste collection;[18][19] as for the former to date (July 2018) more than 30 buses caught fire since January 2017 because of poor or absent maintenance.[20] The event has become so common that the press reports that every time a bus explodes in Rome the first thing people think to by now is a lack of service of Atac - Rome's public transport company - rather than a terrorist attack.[20][21]

Raggi in 2016

A ballot has been proposed by the Italian Radicals following the petition signed by 33,000 inhabitants of the city to assign via public tender the public transport service to private contractors in order to give a more efficient service but Raggi has postponed it first to June 2018 from the initial date of 4 March and then to an undetermined date in Autumn 2018.[22][23][24] Although many people from Rome were not happy with her handling of the ATAC bus situation in Rome and wanted change, only 16.3% showed up to vote, failing to meet the minimum 33.3% needed for approval. On 12 November 2018 the failed ATAC referendum meant that the buses would continue being run by public means.[25][26][27] Furthermore, in trying to control the bus and environmental conditions in Rome, starting January 2019 buses found to be in the red zone (popular tourist attractions in the centre of Rome) will be cited due to them being prohibited.[28][29]

In March 2019 Raggi faced calls for her resignation after three of Rome's metro stations were closed due to concerns about malfunctioning escalators.[30]

As for waste management, far from getting better, the press reports that the average wait time of the waste collection has expanded up to 2-3 weeks with accumulation of garbage out and near of the full waste containers in the street, especially in the peripheral quarters of the city where the press is less likely to investigate;[31] the continuing presence of waste on the streets caused the uncontrolled onset of carrion crows, bugs, rats, seagulls and even wild boars.[31]

In the most recent (September 2017) opinion poll to measure the approval rating of the local administrators of regions, provinces and cities of Italy, Raggi resulted only the 88th best mayor with only 44.4% of approval.[32]

From the 2018 Quality of Life in Italy survey jointly conducted by Italia Oggi, a financial newspaper, and Roma Tre University emerged that since the previous survey in 2017 the perceived quality of life in Rome under the administration of Raggi has dropped of 18 places, from 67th to 85th, making Rome the biggest faller in that ranking.[33]

In June 2019 Raggi stated that 12 million euros would be spent on improving the city's parks and gardens.[34]


In 2017, Raggi proposed to collect the coins in the Trevi Fountain and use that money towards the funding of the city. After the backlash the Raggi administration faced she instead scrapped the idea and let the money continue going to charity.[35]


  1. ^ a b Rosie Scammell (20 June 2016). "Anti-establishment candidates elected to lead Rome and Turin". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Marco Damilano (16 March 2016). "Virginia Raggi, chi è la donna che spaventa Renzi e Berlusconi" [Virginia Raggi, the woman who scares Renzi and Berlusconi]. L'Espresso (in Italian). Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "Meet Virginia Raggi, the First Female Mayor of Rome". The Cut. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ Raggi, Virginia. "Chi sono: Virginia Raggi" [Who I Am: Virginia Raggi] (in Italian). Five Star Movement. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Five Star Movement candidate Virginia Raggi could become Rome's mayor". The Age. 5 June 2016. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ a b Rosie Scammell (12 June 2016). "Rubbish on the streets, corruption in the air: Rome looks for a clean-up candidate". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ (12 March 2016), "Smartening up. An anti-establishment political group becomes slightly more conventional", The Economist. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  8. ^ Pianigiani, Gaia (6 June 2016). "Italy's Five Star Movement Leads in Rome's Mayoral Election". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ Kirchgaessner, Stephanie (19 June 2016). "Virginia Raggi faces five key tests if she becomes Rome mayor". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ "New Rome mayor maintains opposition to 2024 Olympic bid". Business Insider. Associated Press. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ "Rome 2024 Olympic bid collapses in acrimony". BBC News. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ a b Bassi, Andrea (22 September 2016). "Con il no alle Olimpiadi Roma perde 5 miliardi e migliaia di posti di lavoro" [With its "No" to the Olympics Rome loses 5 billion Euros and thousands of workplaces]. il Messaggero (in Italian). Rome. Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ Kaschel, Helena (2 February 2017). "Rome mayor's scandal "a catastrophe for the Five star movement"". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ Giuffrida, Angela (10 November 2018). "Court clears Rome's mayor of cronyism and abuse of power". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 900948621.
  15. ^ "Raggi: "Non mi ricandido, c'è la regola. Arrivare viva alla fine sarà un successo"" [I won't be running for a second term. Would be a success to get alive to the end of the first one.]. La Stampa (in Italian). Turin. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ "Rome Mayor Raggi says she'll stand for re-election - English". 11 August 2020.
  17. ^ "Italy's M5S changes rules to let Rome mayor run again".
  18. ^ Horowitz, Jason (24 December 2018). "Rome in Ruins". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 476794163.
  19. ^ "Roma sommersa dai rifiuti. Virginia Raggi porta il caso in Procura (Rome in ruins by waste. Virginia Raggi takes case to the Procura)". L'Huffington Post (in Italian). 5 January 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  20. ^ a b Serafini, Luka (9 May 2018). "Perché gli autobus a Roma continuano a prendere fuoco?" [Why do Roman buses keep on catching fire?]. The Post Internazionale (in Italian). Rome. Retrieved 2019.
  21. ^ Pianigiani, Gaia (10 May 2018). "Rome Is Burning (or at Least Its Buses Are)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ Perrone, Manuela (27 April 2018). "Roma, referendum Atac: dietro il rinvio gli errori e le aspettative del Campidoglio" [Rome, ballot on Atac: the errors and the expectations of the Capitoline Hill behind its procrastination]. Il Sole 24 Ore. Retrieved 2019.
  23. ^ Plaisant, David (10 November 2018). "Exploding buses, collapsing escalators - what's the matter with Rome's transit?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  24. ^ "Raggi: "Il Referendum Atac è consultivo". I radicali: "Il servizio peggiora ogni giorno"". Il Messaggero (in Italian). Retrieved 2019.
  25. ^ Davidson, Justin (13 November 2018). "Rome Tried to Break Up Its Version of the MTA, and Only Apathy Stopped It". Intelligencer. Retrieved 2019.
  26. ^ "ATAC referendum fails to meet quorum". Retrieved 2019.
  27. ^ "Il referendum su ATAC a Roma è fallito". Il Post (in Italian). 12 November 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  28. ^ "Da gennaio 2019 i bus turistici non potranno entrare nel centro di Roma (Starting January 2019, tourist buses are not allowed in Rome's center area). Raggi: "Battaglia vinta"". L'Huffington Post (in Italian). 14 December 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  29. ^ Caldwell, Zelda (5 January 2019). "Rome bans tourist buses from the city center". Aleteia -- Catholic Spirituality, Lifestyle, World News, and Culture. Retrieved 2019.
  30. ^ McKenna, Josephine (24 March 2019). "Rome's mayor faces calls to resign after metro breakdown causes city centre to grind to a halt". The Telegraph.
  31. ^ a b Curridori, Francesco (28 April 2018). "A Roma è di nuovo emergenza rifiuti" [Rome is again in waste collection emergency]. il Giornale (in Italian). Milan. Retrieved 2018.
  32. ^ "Raggi solo 88ma tra i sindaci d'Italia" [Raggi only 88th amongst the Italian mayors]. il Tempo (in Italian). Rome. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  33. ^ "Qualità della vita: crolla Roma, Bolzano resta prima" [Quality of Life : Rome Collapses, Bolzano Keeps the Leadership]. la Repubblica (in Italian). Rome. 18 November 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  34. ^
  35. ^ Katz, Brigit (15 January 2019). "Rome's Mayor Says Coins Tossed Into Trevi Fountain Will Still Go to Poor". Smithsonian. Retrieved 2019.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Ignazio Marino
Mayor of Rome
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Marcello De Vito (2013)
Five Star Movement nominee for Mayor of Rome
2016, 2021
Succeeded by
Most recent

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