“A richer life means for me a great time for culture, a great time for education, a great time for theatre, for books, for museums.”
Photo: Partidul Social Democrat
A Senator, former Prime Minister and leader of Italia Viva.
Born in Florence, Matteo Renzi was exposed to politics from an early age; his father was a Christian Democratic municipal councillor for the Tuscan commune of Rignano sull’Arno. His interest in politics further developed at high school and during his time as a law student at the University of Florence, where he wrote his thesis on Giorgio La Pira, the former Christian Democratic Mayor of Florence.
Matteo joined the Italian People’s Party in 1996 at the age of 21 and became its Provincial Secretary only three years later, in 1999. After the Italian People’s Party was disbanded, he joined The Daisy party and continued his political rise, becoming the youngest ever President of an Italian Province in 2004, when he was elected President of the province of Florence. After holding this post for five years, in 2009 Matteo successfully ran for the position of Mayor of Florence as a member of the Democratic Party. During his time as Mayor, he became known for his policies on schools and social welfare, as well as a successful programme to make free WiFi available across the city.
In 2013, Matteo was elected Secretary of the Democratic Party and only a year later became Prime Minister of Italy, following the resignation of former Prime Minister Enrico Letta. Only 39 when he took office, Matteo was the youngest ever person to hold the position. During his time in power, the Italian government implemented a number of reforms, notably including the introduction of same-sex civil unions, the reform of the Italian electoral system and the relaxation of labour and employment laws.
Having served as Prime Minister from 2014 to 2016, Matteo went on to found the political party Italia Viva in 2019. He currently serves as leader of the party and as Senator for Florence.