Thousands of so-called 'sardine' protesters sang anti-fascist anthem 'Bella Ciao' while rallying in Bologna on Sunday to demonstrate their opposition to the League party and its leader Matteo Salvini. According to organisers, around 40,000 attended the event.

Signs and banners with political slogans or support of specific political parties are not permitted at the 'sardine' rallies which got their name from attracting as many demonstrators into city squares as possible.

The movement held similar demonstrations in various cities across the country, such as Florence, Rimini, Milan, Bologna, Modena.

Regional elections are set to take place in the historically left-leaning Emilia-Romagna region and seven other regions on January 26, with Salvini and his party seeking to repeat the success they achieved in the Umbrian elections in 2019, when an alliance led by the League brought five decades of left-wing rule to an end.

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