This contribution analyses the transformation of the political system of Florence after Matteo Renzi’s political success, from the vantage point of councilmen and party officials. Tuscany, and partly Florence, are considered as a «red» area. Centre-left parties play a central role in the process of recruitment of political personnel and career development, and in managing relations with civil society. According to some local politicians, Renzi «unmasks» the end of that political tradition. He proposes a new way to play politics, based on primary elections to select political candidates, a limited role of political parties and more direct relations between politics and citizens. Has Renzi really changed the way to play politics in Florence through his calls for rottamazione? In the first part of the article, the author focuses on political features of Florence until Renzi’s rise to national politics. The Florentine political tradition is compared with Renzi’s proposal, underlining the differences between his leadership as a mayor and as the secretary of the Democratic Party. In the second part of the paper, the author identifies relevant elements of continuity with the red political culture that characterize both traditional politicians and Renzi’s political circle.
Keywords: Local political tradition; Playing politics; Leadership.