The article focuses over a 10-years period of the history of the Italian Partito Democratico, since its foundation in 2007 until the election of Nicola Zingaretti as the party’s secretary in 2019. Analysis doesn’t deal with the party’s present situation or with its future. It rather concerns its past pathways over the time. In particular, it focuses on Matteo Renzi’s leadership, which shows some aspects of similarity with the style of guidance pursued by Walter Veltroni, the first party’s secretary between 2007 and 2009. The article analyses the period 2009-16, when Renzi’s leadership reaches its peak while, at the same time, his decline begins. Through a qualitative methodological approach, the essay takes shape starting from the local dimension and reconstructs the path from the American Party model to the Party of the Nation model through the voices, evidences and insights coming out from the bottom-level, namely from local, regional and municipal party executives. Analysis keeps the territory at its center and is carried out in order to study and deeply understand a political organization’s life, its features and history, and to focus upon certain aspects, such as the party model, its inner relationships, its myths, as well as its relations with the local dimension, the party activists and electors and with the civil society.
Keywords: Partito Democratico; territory; local politics; leadership.