Italians were voting for governorships in several regions and posts in dozens of municipalities in what is being seen as a partial test of Premier Matteo Renzi's grip on his oft-squabbling Democratic Party.

Six regions were voting on Sunday. In Sicily, voters could cast ballots on both Sunday and Monday.

Balloting in Liguria, traditionally a stronghold of the left, could indicate how deep runs the resentment of Renzi's leadership, seen as heavy-handed by some prominent Democrats. Among the several governorship candidates are two from the left: one from his party and another who could attract disgruntled Democrats.

In the northern Veneto region, the anti-immigrant Northern League is hoping for gains as Italy struggles to shelter tens of thousands of migrants arriving by sea on smugglers' boats.