Dario Franceschini

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Dario Franceschini
Dario Franceschini 2014.jpg
Minister of Cultural Heritage and Tourism
In office
22 February 2014 – 1 June 2018
Prime MinisterMatteo Renzi
Paolo Gentiloni
Preceded byMassimo Bray
Succeeded byAlberto Bonisoli
Minister of Parliamentary Relations
In office
28 April 2013 – 22 February 2014
Prime MinisterEnrico Letta
Preceded byPietro Giarda
Succeeded byMaria Elena Boschi
Secretary of the Democratic Party
In office
21 February 2009 – 7 November 2009
Preceded byWalter Veltroni
Succeeded byPier Luigi Bersani
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
Assumed office
30 May 2001
Personal details
Born (1958-10-19) 19 October 1958 (age 60)
Ferrara, Italy
Political partyDC (Before 1994)
CS (1994–1995)
PPI (1995–2002)
DL (2002–2007)
PD (2007–present)
Other political
The Olive Tree (1995–2007)
Spouse(s)Silvia Bombardi (1986–2014)
Michela De Biase (2014–present)
Children3 daughters
Alma materUniversity of Ferrara

Dario Franceschini (born 19 October 1958)[1] is an Italian lawyer, writer, and politician, who served as the second leader of the Democratic Party.[2][3]

He was a prominent member of the Italian People's Party (PPI), of the Daisy and the first Deputy Secretary of the Democratic Party.[1] Following the resignation of Walter Veltroni on 21 February 2009 the Constituent Assembly of the Democratic Party elected him the new Secretary.[2][3] On 25 October 2009, he lost the leadership election to Pier Luigi Bersani, and subsequently accepted his offer to become the party's Leader in the Chamber of Deputies.[4]

He was Minister for Relations with Parliament from 2013 to 2014, and Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism from 2014 to 2018. In February 2018 he became the longest-serving cultural heritage minister in the history of the Italian Republic.

Franceschini, who is considered a centrist and a Christian leftist, is the leader of AreaDem, which is the majority faction in the Democratic Party.[5]


Franceschini was born in Ferrara in 1958. His father George was a Catholic partisan and MP for the Christian Democrats in the Second Legislature, from 1953 to 1958. He graduated in law at the University of Ferrara.[1] with a thesis on the history of doctrines and political institutions, published as a book The Popular Party in Ferrara. Catholics, Socialists and fascists in the land of Grosoli and Don Minzoni and on the same subject he participated in conferences and publications. In 1985 he graduated from the University of Ferrara and started practicing civil law[1] in civil court of cassation, he was admitted to the auditors and has been an effective member of the supervisory board of Eni in its first three years of privatization. From 1985 to 1989 he edited for Formez the bimonthly review of regional legislative documentation.

He was president of the Palio di Ferrara. He is an honorary citizen of the City of Borgo Velino.

On 8 March 2014, during a visit to Palmanova, he was hospitalized due to a heart attack while he was in the barracks Ederle. The official bulletin of the hospital will report later that the minister was suffering from an acute coronary syndrome treated positively and promptly. He was then transferred to the hospital Santa Maria della Misericordia of Udine. He was released 16 March 2014.

He received the America Award of the Italy-USA Foundation in 2016.

Franceschini is divorced from his first wife, Silvia Bombardi. He married Michela Di Biase in 2014 in Sutri (VT).[6] He has three daughters.

Early political career[edit]

Democratic Student Association to the Christian Democrats[edit]

His political activity began at the student level, from Antonio Roiti High School in Ferrara in the fall of 1974 when he founded the Democratic Student Association, of Catholic and centrist inspiration. The ASD is present in almost all high schools in the city in the early elections scheduled by "decrees". From 1974 to 1977 he was elected to the various student organisations (class councils, disciplinary and institutional). Later, he was elected student representative to the board of directors of the University of Ferrara. He founded the Cultural Cooperative Christmas Gorini, which is concerned with art cinema.

The charismatic figures that since his youth aroused his attention are, among others, Benigno Zaccagnini and don Primo Mazzolari. In particular, Don Mazzolari is repeatedly pointed out to during his campaign to be the secretary of the Democratic Party. He dedicated one of the most significant parts in the final speech of his campaign, delivered in Marzabotto 24 October 2009

He enrolled in the Christian Democrats after the election of Benigno Zaccagnini and was elected provincial youth delegate. In 1980 he became councillor of Ferrara in 1983 and party whip of the council. The following year, he enters the national leadership of the DC youth movement, for which he founded and directed the magazine New Policy. In 1989 he directs in Rome the monthly "Seventy-six" gathering thirty years history of the left DC and is called to the vice-direction of the monthly Comparison (il Confronto) and in the preparation of the party's weekly La Discussione.

During the transformation of the Christian Democrats into the Italian Popular Party, he invites the party, at the Constituent Assembly in Rome in 1993, to choose, with determination, as a result of the new electoral system, an alliance between the center and the left. He does not accept the decision of the party to stand independently - as a coalition of center - in the general election of 1994, in the Pact for Italy. Therefore, decides to join the movement of the Social Christians, founding the movement in Ferrara and becoming National Director. In 1994 he creates in Ferrara one of the first juntas of the center-left in Italy, becoming Head of Culture and Tourism. In 1995, he is a candidate for Mayor of Ferrara (supported by the Greens, Labour and Social Christians) winning about 20% of the votes.[1]

Italian People's Party[edit]

After the internal divisions in the PPI and the adhesion of the same Ulivo, he is part of the party and, from 1997 to 1999, he is National Deputy. Subsequently, the National Congress of 1999, in which he is a candidate for national secretary but is defeated by Pierluigi Castagnetti, becomes part of the national leadership and the office of secretary with responsibility for the policies of the Communication. During the second D'Alema government, he is appointed Undersecretary to the Prime Minister with responsibility for institutional reforms, and reconfirmed by the next government Amato.

On behalf of the Government, he follows, in particular, the issue of the electoral law, and until the final approval, the constitutional law of reform of the statutes of the special regions, the introduction of voting rights for Italians abroad and the changes to Title V of the Constitution.

The Olive Tree[edit]

Franceschini with Gennaro Migliore.

Following the birth of the Olive Tree coalition, Franceschini re-entered the Italian People's Party, and from 1997 to 1999 he was its Deputy Secretary and Coordinator.[1] He was appointed Undersecretary for Institutional Reforms in the D'Alema II Cabinet, and he maintained this position in the Amato II Cabinet.[7] In the 2001 general election he was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in Ferrara College 9, and he became a member of the Constitutional Affairs Commission of the Chamber.[8] One of the founders of the Margherita Party, in July 2001 he joined the Constituent Committee of that party, which becomes the coordinating organ of the national party. The tasks of the party are confirmed by subsequent congresses in 2002 and 2004. He was a member of the Executive of the European Democratic Party and member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). He is a founding member of the interparliamentary intercommission for fair and sustainable trade.

In the 2006 general election he was re-elected Deputy for the XI constituency of Emilia-Romagna and he was appointed Leader of the Olive Tree group in the Chamber.[9] When the Daisy was merged with the Democrats of the Left to form the new Democratic Party on 14 October 2007, Secretary Walter Veltroni chose him as his Deputy.[3]

Secretary of the Democratic Party[edit]

With the birth of the Democratic Party 14 October 2007 and the ascent to the secretariat of Walter Veltroni, he became National Deputy Secretary of the new party. Following this appointment, he resigned from the presidency of the group L'Ulivo in the House of Deputies, replaced by Antonello Soro.[10]

He was Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers in the shadow government of the Democratic Party from 9 May 2008 to 21 February 2009. He was elected deputy again in the general election of 2008. He represented until July 2012, the Italian Parliament to the Council of Europe and Western European Union Assembly.

Franceschini in 2009.

On 21 February 2009, after the resignation of Walter Veltroni,[11] he was elected secretary of the Democratic Party in the National Assembly, with 1,047 votes out of 1,258. His only opponent Arturo Parisi won just 92 votes.[2][3]

His first act after the election was to swear the oath on a copy of the Italian Constitution, in front of the castle of his native Ferrara, in the hands of his father Giorgio Franceschini, former partisan and former deputy.[12]

After of the primary elections of the Democratic Party of 25 October 2009, Franceschini was nominated secretary, along with Pier Luigi Bersani and Ignazio Marino. The slogan for his running for the position of secretary was "Free the Future". He organizes the election campaign focusing it on a series of speeches, "10 speeches to the Italians", which he delivers in cities or places related to the subject and significance for the history of the country. At Marzabotto, he delivers the "Address to the Free", in Genoa the "Address to the New Italian", in Cosenza the "Address to the Young People of the South." Each speech ends with the word "now", clearly inspired by the magazine Now, founded by Don Primo Mazzolari. The speeches are published in November 2009 in the book, published by Simon and Schuster: In ten words. Challenging the right over values Among the supporters of the candidacy of Franceschini there are Piero Fassino, Debora Serracchiani, Franco Marini, Marco Minniti, Giovanna Melandri, Tiziano Treu, Enrico Morando, Marina Sereni, Antonello Soro, Cesare Damiano, Pierluigi Castagnetti, Paolo Gentiloni, Sergio Cofferati, Rita Borsellino, Mario Adinolfi, David Sassoli. Former Secretary of the Democratic Party Walter Veltroni, while saying he would stay out of the party convention, had words of appreciation for the candidacy of Franceschini. He received support from many representatives from the world of culture and entertainment including Lorenzo Jovanotti, Nanni Moretti and Andrea Camilleri.

On 25 October 2009, in the primaries of the PD, Franceschini received over a million votes, representing 34% of the total, but was surpassed by Bersani, who then became the new secretary. That same evening, he acknowledged Bersani’s victory and said that beyond the results, he would strive to ensure the unity of the party. On 17 November, he was elected President of the Parliamentary Group of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives after Antonello Soro had resigned as deputy. After the defeat in the primaries, he rearranged all the forces that had supported his candidacy in a domestic component to the Democratic Party, Democratic Area, which is now seen as a benchmark.

Minister in centre-left governments[edit]

Franceschini at the Leopolda convention in Florence, 2014.

In the general elections of 2013 he was a candidate and was elected to the Chamber of Deputies as head of the list of the Democratic Party in the constituency of Emilia-Romagna.

From 28 April 2013 to 22 February 2014 was Minister for Relations with Parliament and the coordination of government activity in the government of Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

On 22 February 2014 he was sworn in as Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism in the government of Matteo Renzi. He presided over the Council of European Ministers of Culture and the European Forum of Ministers of Culture and Tourism in the second half of 2014.

On 12 December 2016, when Renzi resigned as Prime Minister after the constitutional referendum, Franceschini was confirmed as Culture Minister by the new Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.[13]

Literary activity[edit]

In 2006 he published his first novel Nelle vene quell’acqua d’argento (That silver water in the veins), with which in 2007 won the Premier Roman in France Chambéry and, in Italy, the Opera Prima Prize of the City of Penne, Bacchelli Award. The novel was published by Gallimard in France in the series The Arpenteur titled Dans les veines le fleuve d'argent and later re-released in paperback series "Folio".

In 2007 he published the novel La follia improvisa di Ignazio Rando (The sudden madness of Ignazio Rando), from which was made into an eponymous theater company "Teatro Odd Days" in Varese. In 2011 he released Daccapo (Again), a novel that features the son of a notary, from the provinces, who had 53 children by as many secret prostitutes [29] [30]. Fiction finalist for the literary prize Città di Rieti. In 2013 he published his fourth novel Mestieri immateriali di Sebastiano Delgado(Crafts intangible of Sebastiano Salgado).

He is also a member of the jury of Premio Strega (Strega Prize).

Published works[edit]

  • Il Partito popolare a Ferrara: cattolici, socialisti e fascisti nella terra di Grosoli e don Minzoni (1985)[14]
  • Nelle vene quell'acqua d'argento (2006)[15]
  • La follia improvvisa di Ignazio Rando (2007)[16]
  • In 10 parole. Sfidare la Destra sui valori (2009) [17]
  • Daccapo (2011) [18]
  • Mestieri immateriali di Sebastiano Delgado (2013) [19]



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Dario Franceschini – Biography". Democratic Party. Archived from the original on 30 January 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "Italy's Left gets new leader". France 24. 22 February 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d "Italian opposition elects leader". BBC News. 21 February 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2009.
  4. ^ "PD: Franceschini accetta offerta Bersani, sarà capogruppo alla Camera" (in Italian). ASCA. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
  5. ^ Dai renziani ai giovani turchi fino alla corazzata di Franceschini. Ecco le correnti che agitano il Pd
  6. ^ "Nozze "normali" a Sutri per Franceschini e Michela nell'estate della politica da rotocalco" (in Italian). Il Messaggero. 14 September 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Italian left elects Franceschini to succeed Veltroni". Agence France-Presse. 21 February 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2009.
  8. ^ "Chamber of Deputies – XIV Legislature". Italian Chamber of Deputies. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  9. ^ "Chamber of Deputies – XV Legislature". Italian Chamber of Deputies. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  10. ^ "Pd, è Soro il nuovo capogruppo". Corriere della Sera. 8 November 2007. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Veltroni conferma le dimissioni "Adesso basta farsi del male"" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 17 February 2009 – 14 September 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  12. ^ "A Ferrara Franceschini giura sulla Costituzione" (in Italian). L'Unità. 22 February 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  13. ^ Gentiloni presenta governo, Padoan confermato all'Economia
  14. ^ Franceschini, Dario (1985). Il Partito popolare a Ferrara. CLUEB. ISBN 978-88-491-0609-1.
  15. ^ Franceschini, Dario (2006). Nelle vene quell'acqua d'argento. Tascabili Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-452-5945-6.
  16. ^ Franceschini, Dario (2007). La follia improvvisa di Ignazio Rando. Bompiani. ISBN 88-452-5945-5.
  17. ^ Franceschini, Dario (2009). In 10 parole. Sfidare la Destra sui valori. Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-452-6438-2.
  18. ^ Franceschini, Dario (2011). Daccapo. Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-452-6711-6.
  19. ^ Franceschini, Dario (2013). Mestieri immateriali di Sebastiano Delgado. Bompiani. ISBN 978-88-452-7600-2.
  20. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado

External links[edit]

Party political offices
New office Coordinator of the People's Party
Succeeded by
Lapo Pistelli
Executive Coordinator of The Daisy
Succeeded by
Antonello Soro
Preceded by
Pierluigi Castagnetti
Leader of The Olive Tree in the Chamber of Deputies
Party dissolved
New office Deputy Secretary of the Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Enrico Letta
Preceded by
Walter Veltroni
Secretary of the Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Pier Luigi Bersani
Preceded by
Antonello Soro
Leader of the Democratic Party in the Chamber of Deputies
Succeeded by
Roberto Speranza
Political offices
Preceded by
Massimo Bray
Minister of Cultural Heritage and Tourism
Succeeded by
Alberto Bonisoli