So the centre-right candidate easily won the run-off for mayor. (Is it just me, or is it the case that there's very little that's centrist about the so-called centre right, just as the so-called centre left seems to have very little of the left about it?) The town hasn't had a right-wing mayor since the end of the Second World War. Posters have sprung up everywhere, emblazoned with the logo of Berlusconi's Popolo della Libertà, saying a big thank you to voters and announcing that the town is changing, though without specifying how. It's all rather sinister. But then the losing centre-left candidate's runner-up prize is to be the majority leader on the town council, so what we probably have to look forward to, rather than the threatened change, is five years of stalemate.

Posters have just appeared in the windows of one of the local bookshops too. Every summer for the last 12 years they've had a temporary outdoor branch next to a flower stall under the portico of a church in the centre of town. This year though, after first requiring that the stall be shifted to a new location (so their usual spot could be used by the political campaigns), three days before the ballottaggio the council withdrew permission altogether, though it's not clear on what grounds. Tough on bookshops, tough on the causes of bookshops.