Matteo Renzi, then Democratic Party (PD) leader, waves during the party’s final rally, in Florence, ahead of the March 4th general election. Photograph:  Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Matteo Renzi had remained conspicuously silent in the immediate aftermath of the bruising election defeat that populist rivals inflicted on his centre(...)

Marchers hold up a  banner  reading “Let’s oust Renzi”  during a demonstration ahead of a referendum next Sunday on constitutional reform. Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AP

If Matteo Renzi is to score a comeback victory in the constitutional referendum that has transfixed Italian politics, Flavio Arzarello, a bearded(...)