Former US president Barack Obama met privately with former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi in Milan on Monday.

Obama was hailed by hundreds of locals and tourists in the northern Italian city, who reportedly waited hours to catch a glimpse of him outside his hotel where he was staying, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Glad to have seen a friend and a great leader, Barack Obama, in Milan,” Renzi wrote on Facebook after the two met in a closed-door meeting that reportedly lasted about two hours.

“He was in great shape: he still has a lot to say and to give to global politics,” wrote Renzi.

The two politicians also telephoned French president-elect Emmanuel Macron to congratulate him together.

Both Obama and Renzi publicly declared their support for Macron, a pro-EU independent, before the runoff vote that swept him to power on Sunday, defeating far-right leader Marine Le Pen.