David Warren comments brought to my attention it might be more than a local quirk to vote for the prettiest candidate:
the country’s Five Star Party, founded by the comedian Beppe Grillo a few years ago, has won 19 of the 20 cities in which its candidate stood for mayor. Starting with Virginia Raggi in Rome, many of these mayors-elect could pass for fashion models. She, for instance, will try to improve upon a record that has “Left” the city indebted to more than twice its annual revenues, and its officials enthralled to organized gangsters.
the "puppet master" in this case is Beppe Grillo, a comedian who has essentially been banned from TV because his humor is not PC, so he now blogs.
Wikipedia entry here.
As Grillo became more and more involved in Italian politics, the use of his blog to convey a political message was accompanied by a strong emphasis on the role of the Web as the harbinger of new possibilities for direct democracy and for a fairer society, making Grillo one of the leading populariser of digital utopianism in Italy.
wikipedia on the FiveStarMovement.
UKGuardian's take on the election: it's the corruption, stupid.
no, I don't know anything about this, but it shows the anti Establishment populism is not limited to the Brexit types, the Duterte supporters, or the Trumpettes...