But the city’s problems pile up on his watch, attracting obsolete garbage, sea eagles, crows and even swarms of hungry pigs. A hole epidemic has seen no visible solution. Public buses caught fire, and some cyclists complained that the bike lanes the mayor had set up were unsafe and poorly maintained.
Then on Saturday night, just hours before voting began, a fire broke out on a 19th-century bridge in a modern Rome neighborhood. Investigators and experts are still searching for the cause of the fire, but Rome was a metaphor for burning Mrs. Ragi did not lose to critics.
Municipal elections were held in more than a thousand Italian cities and towns on Monday, but it is not yet clear what they mean for national politics. It may be more than a year and a half before the next parliamentary elections.
Mario Draghi, an independent and former president of the European Central Bank, has widespread support in parliament, but the low turnout may be a reflection of general dissatisfaction among voters. Only 48.8 percent of voters in Rome voted, about ten percent less than five years ago, and less than the national average of 55 percent, which is the lowest.
Mrs. Ragi’s fate was partly a reflection of her team. The winner has received five-star hemorrhaged support since the national election in 2018, when it won the largest share of the vote and was part of the ruling coalition.
“One thing is to promise change when you are in the opposition, another is to turn them into effective policies when you are in government,” said Roberto Biarcio, a professor of political sociology at the University of Milan in Bicco. “In this sense, he followed this downward path.”
In Rome, confusion towards Mrs. Ragi grew when she failed to form a strong team, often replacing members of the top cabinet, which crippled administrative decisions.