Here we are. After 2 months of intense electoral campaign Rome is getting ready for the election day waited from its citizens since 8 months, as former mayor Ignazio Marino was obliged to resign his position by its own party (PD).
Last night I was in Piazza del Popolo, where the closing political rally of Movimento 5 Stelle candidate Virginia Raggi took place. The square was full of supporters, people belonging to different social, political and cultural environments, all with a hope: a new start for the eternal city.
Raggi came on stage with her calm smile and a strong voice successfully transmitting to the crowd the message "another Rome is possible, a city without corruption and mafia. They have destroyed the most beautiful city in the world, only to make their dirty illegal business" she affirmed while onestà, onestà (honesty, honesty) was the mantra coming from the square. Strong words that flamed the audience: "For 20 years they administrated the city only to protect their personal business, they have put up a corrupted system that makes illegal money out of everything, even on the immigrants hospitality" (that as you know is one of the major problem Italy has to face daily). "The time to stop this corrupted system has arrived, so you voters get that pen and use it to affirm your power, to change your life and the life of your neighbour citizens".
Many others speakers went on stage, MEPs, candidates for the City Council, artists, among all the 90 years old Nobel Literature Laureate Dario Fo who played a 10 minutes piece of theater on the latest agreement between Italian Prime Minister Renzi and Silvio Berlusconi.
The square praised also Alessandro Di Battista when he took stage. "To look at you in this square is my prize after more than 2 years of rallies through the whole country in order to talk to the people. When someone asks me "how can you think to change this corrupted system with your short political experience, I answer: with honesty and a "normal" behavior, with hard work and knowledge, with the convinction that we have already won, the change has started". Words of hope and enthusiasm after 2 days in Sicily where he toured a few small towns to help the Sicilian candidates. "I am not asking for your vote" he shouted from the stage, if you want to vote the same parties that for 20 years have stripped the flesh off, you are welcome. But think about it as in doing so you will lose the right to complain that things are going wrong. Don't complain at the coffee shop in the morning while you are drinking your cappuccino that nothing is working properly, Rome is a wreckage at the moment and it is going to be extremely difficult to repair all the demages this political class has made. But more and more people have started to join us. I don't know if we will win this elections or how long it will take to see a complete change, but surely people is changing, atmosphere is changing, the process is on".
Going around the square was very pleasant: smiling faces, families with children, old activists coming from all over the country and also some tourists who where attracted mainly by Grillo's popularity. "We are so lucky to live in the most magnificent and rich city of the world" affirmed Gemma Guerrini, a paleonthologist mother of 2, who decided to run for a siege in the City Council with M5S. Guerrini in the past 3 years was one of the main responsible of the "Table of Culture" in Rome, a group of experts that since several years meets regularly and helped to write Raggi's Program for Rome. "We can make it, I am sure", she sayed about Raggi winning the siege. "The city is destroyed, our immense heritage has to be saved and it's a hell of a job. But we will work with passion and dedication, we have already finalized lots of projects, once the mafia capitale system will be stopped and we start to recuperate part of the budget (Rome has almost 17 billions missing from its budget) we will have also the money to realize the most important and urgent ones". "That's for sure" intervenes Ivo Mej, journalist at one of the major Italian tv channel, who together with Guerrini works on cultural themes. "We can restore our secular beauty only if we all together start to work for it, care for it and share the beauty away. Beauty calls beauty as trash calls trash. The problems of Rome are tremendous at the moment so we must start from small steps on. As Beppe Grillo said yesterday in his phone call transimitted during the rally "every person has to become the mayor of its own reality, the mayor of 1 square meter of this magical city."