After decades of conservative Silvio Berlusconi dominating Italy's politics, the left is on the rise again and it hopes to take power in the 2013 general elections.
But the Democratic Party has its own choice to make first.
Two men are challenging to represent the party in April next year - Matteo Renzi, 37, currently mayor of the city of Florence, and Pier Luigi Bersani, the 61-year-old former cabinet minister.
Al Jazeera's Claudio Lavanga reports from Rome.
Source: Al Jazeera