Date and place of birth: Oct. 19, 1958, Ferrara.
Current position: Culture Minister in the government of Paolo Gentiloni, since December 12, 2016.
Previous: Culture Minister in Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government until December 4, 2016. Minister of Parliamentary Relations in Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s government until Feb. 22, 2014.
Education: Civil lawyer by training.
What you should know: A centre-left politician, Franceschini has been a member of several political parties and held cabinet posts in a number of governments since 1999 when he became deputy minister under Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema. Franceschini was secretary of the newly created Democratic Party in 2009 before losing out to Pier Luigi Bersani in a primary vote. He has written a number of novels.