Renzi sets off in camper for centre-left leadership campaign
Vehicle marked Now to tour Italy until November13 September, 18:42
(ANSA) - Verona, September 13 - Future, Europe, merit: these were the words chosen by 37-year-old Matteo Renzi on Thursday to launch his campaign to lead the centre-left to parliamentary elections next year. The upstart Florence mayor arrived for the official campaign launch in the northern city of Verona in a camper van that is to be his home for the coming weeks as he tours Italy in the hope of wresting the centre-left leadership from the veteran Pier Luigi Bersani in primary elections scheduled for November.
The vehicle is marked with Renzi's name in red followed by "Adesso!" - meaning Now! - in blue along the side.
On the back is "Primaries 2012" but the symbol of Renzi's Democratic Party does not appear. Following the campaign launch in Verona Renzi travelled to Longarone in Veneto to remember the 1963 Vajont dam disaster caused by a landslide that left nearly 2,000 people dead. Thereafter he was due to travel to nearby Belluno before ending the day in Padua.
On Friday he is due in the northwestern coastal region of Liguria before returning to Florence for mayoral engagements on Saturday. In an interview with Roman daily Il Messaggero Roberto Reggi, Renzi's chief of staff, said that the tour would be similar to those made by other local mayors, during which "we will gradually draw up the various points of our programme".