Angry and disappointed, Giusi Nicolini was gone for hours after learning she lost. She went to her office, where she picked up some of her things and then vanished. Her defeat as mayor of Lampedusa — the island that in five years has taken her around the world, even to the White House — was too bitter. She was part of the team of excellence that then-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi brought with him during his visit to Barack Obama.
The latest award to Nicolini was issued by UNESCO just two months ago for having “saved the lives” of many migrants and “welcomed them with dignity.” For this, she has become a symbol. But it was not enough to assure her re-election.
Actually, she came up third in the polls in this weekend’s elections, behind winner Totò Martello, the old guard of the left and leader of the fishermen, and Filippo Mannino, an insurance broker, close to the 5 Star party.