The regions of Italy (Italian: regioni) are the first-level administrative divisions of the Republic of Italy, constituting its second NUTS administrative level. There are 20 regions, of which five have a broader amount of autonomy than the other 15 regions. Under the Italian Constitution, each region is an autonomous entity with defined powers. With the exception of the Aosta Valley, each region is divided into a number of provinces.
During the Kingdom of Italy, regions were administrative districts of the central state. Under the Republic, they were granted a measure of political autonomy by the 1948 Italian Constitution. The original draft list comprised the Salento region (which was eventually included in the Apulia). Friuli and Venezia Giulia were separate regions, and Basilicata was named Lucania. Abruzzo and Molise were identified as separate regions in the first draft. They were later merged into Abruzzo e Molise in the final constitution of 1948. They were separated in 1963.
Implementation of regional autonomy was postponed until the first Regional elections of 1970. The ruling Christian Democracy party did not want the opposition Italian Communist Party to gain power in the regions, where it was historically rooted (the red belt of Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria and the Marches).
Regions acquired a significant level of autonomy following a constitutional reform in 2001 (brought about by a centre-left government and confirmed by popular referendum), which granted them residual policy competence. A further federalist reform was proposed by the regionalist party Lega Nord and in 2005, the centre-right government led by Silvio Berlusconi proposed a new reform that would have greatly increased the power of regions.
The proposals, which had been particularly associated with Lega Nord, and seen by some as leading the way to a federal state, were rejected in the 2006 Italian constitutional referendum by 61.7% to 38.3%. The results varied considerably among the regions, ranging from 55.3% in favor in Veneto to 82% against in Calabria.
Number of regions governed by each coalition since 1995:
Italian name (if different)
|Area||Pop. density||HDI||Capital||President||Number of comuni||Prov. or|
Brothers of Italy
For Our Valley
|Campania||Ordinary||5,826,860||9.63%||13,671||4.53%||426||0.847||Naples||Vincenzo De Luca
|Friuli-Venezia Giulia||Autonomous||1,215,538||2.01%||7,924||2.63%||153||0.898||Trieste||Massimiliano Fedriga
Sardinian Action Party
South Tyrolean People's Party
|Area (km²)||Pop. density|
Isole or Insulare (adj)
Every region has a statute that serves as a regional constitution, determining the form of government and the fundamental principles of the organization and the functioning of the region, as prescribed by the Constitution of Italy (Article 123). Although all the regions except Tuscany define themselves in various ways as an "autonomous Region" in the first article of their Statutes, fifteen regions have ordinary statutes and five have special statutes, granting them extended autonomy.
These regions, whose statutes are approved by their regional councils, were created in 1970, even though the Italian Constitution dates back to 1948. Since the constitutional reform of 2001 they have had residual legislative powers. The regions have exclusive legislative power with respect to any matters not expressly reserved to state law (Article 117). Yet their financial autonomy is quite modest: they just keep 20% of all levied taxes, mostly used to finance the region-based healthcare system.
Article 116 of the Italian Constitution grants to five regions (namely Sardinia, Sicily, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Aosta Valley and Friuli-Venezia Giulia) home rule, allowing them some legislative, administrative and financial power to a varying extent, depending on their specific statute. These regions became autonomous in order to take into account cultural differences and protect linguistic minorities. Moreover, the government wanted to prevent their secession from Italy after the Second World War.
Each region has an elected parliament, called Consiglio Regionale (regional council), or Assemblea Regionale (regional assembly) in Sicily, and a government called Giunta Regionale (regional committee), headed by a governor called Presidente della Giunta Regionale (president of the regional committee) or Presidente della Regione (regional president). The latter is directly elected by the citizens of each region, with the exceptions of Aosta Valley and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, where he is chosen by the regional council.
Under the 1995 electoral law, the winning coalition receives an absolute majority of seats on the council. The president chairs the giunta, and nominates or dismisses its members, called assessori. If the directly elected president resigns, new elections are called immediately.
In Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, the regional council is made up of the joint session of the two provincial councils of Trentino and of South Tyrol, and the regional governor is one of the two provincial commissioners.
Article 57 of the Constitution of Italy establishes that the Senate of the Italian Republic is elected on a regional basis (excluding 6 senators elected by Italians residing abroad and a small number of senators for life) by Italian citizens aged 25 or older.
The 309 senators are assigned to each region proportionally according to their population. However, Article 57 of the Constitution provides that no region can have fewer than seven senators representing it, except for the Aosta Valley (which has one) and Molise (which has two).
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The extra-regio territory is made up of parts of the economic territory of a country which cannot be assigned to a single region. It consists of the national air-space, territorial waters and the continental shelf lying in international waters over which the country enjoys exclusive rights, territorial exclaves, deposits of oil, natural gas etc. worked by resident units. Until 2011, the gross value added (GVA) produced in the extra-regio was allocated pro-rata to the inhabited regions of the country concerned. The order of magnitude of the extra-regio GVA depends in particular on the resource endowment in terms of natural gas and oil. In 2011, Member States and the European Commission agreed to give countries the possibility to calculate regional GDP also for the extra-regio. The resulting GDP is available only in absolute values, because the extra-regio territory by definition does not have a resident population.
The Aosta Valley (Italian: Valle d'Aosta [ˈvalle daˈɔsta] (official) or Val d'Aosta (usual); French: Vallée d'Aoste [vale dɔst] (official) or Val d'Aoste (usual); Arpitan: Val d'Outa (usual); Walser: Augschtalann or Ougstalland; Piedmontese: Val d'Osta) is a mountainous autonomous region in northwestern Italy. It is bordered by Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France, to the west, Valais, Switzerland, to the north and by the Metropolitan City of Turin in the region of Piedmont, Italy, to the south and east.
Covering an area of 3,263 km2 (1,260 sq mi) and with a population of about 128,000 it is the smallest, least populous, and least densely populated region of Italy. It is the only Italian region that is not sub-divided into provinces (the province of Aosta was dissolved in 1945). Provincial administrative functions are provided by the regional government. The region is divided into 74 comuni (communes).
Italian and French are the official languages, though much of the native population also speak Valdôtain, a dialect of Arpitan (Franco-Provençal), as their home language; about half of the population can speak all three languages.The regional capital is Aosta.Apulia
Apulia ( ə-POO-lee-ə; Italian: Puglia [ˈpuʎːa]; Neapolitan: Pùglia [ˈpuʝːə]; Albanian: Pulia; Ancient Greek: Ἀπουλία, romanized: Apoulía) is a region in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto to the south. The region comprises 19,345 square kilometers (7,469 sq mi), and its population is about four million.
It is bordered by the other Italian regions of Molise to the north, Campania to the west, and Basilicata to the southwest. Across the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, it faces Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, and Montenegro. Its capital city is Bari.Basilicata
Basilicata (UK: , US: , Italian: [baziliˈkaːta]), also known by its ancient name Lucania (, also US: , Italian: [luˈkaːnja]), is a region in Southern Italy, bordering on Campania to the west, Apulia (Puglia) to the north and east, and Calabria to the south. It also has two coastlines: a 30-km stretch on the Tyrrhenian Sea between Campania and Calabria, and a longer coastline along the Gulf of Taranto between Calabria and Apulia. The region can be thought of as the "instep" of Italy, with Calabria functioning as the "toe" and Apulia the "heel". The region covers about 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi) and in 2010 had a population slightly under 600,000. The regional capital is Potenza. The region is divided into two provinces: Potenza and Matera.Basilicata is an emerging tourist destination, thanks in particular to the city of Matera, whose historical quarter I Sassi became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, and has been designated European Capital of Culture 2019. The New York Times ranked Basilicata third in its list of "52 Places to Go in 2018", defining it "Italy’s best-kept secret".Emilia-Romagna
Emilia-Romagna (UK: , US: , both also ; Italian: [eˈmiːlja roˈmaɲɲa]; Emilian and Romagnol: Emélia-Rumâgna) is an administrative region of Northeast Italy comprising the historical regions of Emilia and Romagna. Its capital is Bologna. It has an area of 22,446 km2 (8,666 sq mi), and about 4.4 million inhabitants.
Emilia-Romagna is one of the wealthiest and most developed regions in Europe, with the third highest GDP per capita in Italy. Bologna, its capital, has one of Italy's highest quality of life indices and advanced social services. Emilia-Romagna is also a cultural and tourist centre, being the home of the University of Bologna, the oldest university in the world, containing Romanesque and Renaissance cities (such as Modena, Parma and Ferrara), a former Eastern Roman Empire capital such as Ravenna, encompassing eleven UNESCO heritage sites, being a centre for food and automobile production (home of automotive companies such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Pagani, De Tomaso and Ducati) and having popular coastal resorts such as Cervia, Cesenatico, Rimini and Riccione.
In 2018, the Lonely Planet guide named Emilia Romagna as the best place to see in Europe.Emilia (region of Italy)
Emilia (Emilian: Emîlia) is a historic region of northern Italy, which approximately corresponds to the western and north-eastern portions of the modern region Emilia-Romagna, with the area of Romagna forming the remainder of the modern region.First-level NUTS of the European Union
The Classification of Territorial Units for Statistics, (NUTS, for the French nomenclature d'unités territoriales statistiques), is a geocode standard for referencing the administrative divisions of countries for statistical purposes. The standard was developed by the European Union.
There are three levels of NUTS defined, with two levels of local administrative units (LAUs) below. Depending on their size, not all countries have every level of division. One of the most extreme cases is Luxembourg, which has only LAUs; the three NUTS divisions each correspond to the entire country itself.
Below are the first level NUTS regions of the European Union.Flags of regions of Italy
This list of flags of regions of Italy shows the flags of the 20 Italian regions (including five autonomous regions). These regions have their own arms, as well as their own gonfalone; more recently they have taken into use normal flags as well. Many regional flags were adopted on 4 November 1995 for Armed Forces Day of Italy (it).Friuli Venezia Giulia
Friuli Venezia Giulia (pronounced [friˈuːli veˈnɛttsja ˈdʒuːlja]) is one of the 20 regions of Italy, and one of five autonomous regions with special statute. The regional capital is Trieste.
The name used to be hyphenated as Friuli-Venezia Giulia until 2001. The region is called Friûl Vignesie Julie in Friulian and Furlanija Julijska krajina in Slovene, two languages spoken in the region. The city of Venice ("Venezia") is not in this region, despite the name.
Friuli Venezia Giulia has an area of 7,924 km2 and about 1.2 million inhabitants. A natural opening to the sea for many Central European countries, the region is traversed by the major transport routes between the east and west of southern Europe. It encompasses the historical-geographical region of Friuli and a small portion of the historical region of Venezia Giulia – also known in English as the Julian March – each with its own distinct history, traditions and identity.Insular Italy
Insular Italy (Italian: Italia insulare or just Isole) is one of the five official statistical regions of Italy used by the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), a first level NUTS region and a European Parliament constituency. Insular Italy encompasses two of the country's 20 regions: Sardinia and Sicily.Lazio
Lazio (UK: , US: , Italian: [ˈlattsjo]; Latin: Latium) is one of the 20 administrative regions of Italy. Situated in the central peninsular section of the country, it has almost 5.9 million inhabitants – making it the second most populated region of Italy (after Lombardy and just a little ahead of Campania) – and its GDP of more than 170 billion euros per annum means that it has the nation's second largest regional economy. The capital of Lazio is Rome, which is also Italy's capital and the country's largest city.Liguria
Liguria (, Italian: [liˈɡuːrja]; Ligurian: Ligûria [liˈɡyːɾja]; Occitan: Ligúria) is a coastal region of north-western Italy; its capital is Genoa. The region almost coincides with the Italian Riviera and is popular with tourists for its beaches, towns, and cuisine.Lombardy
Lombardy ( LOM-bər-dee; Italian: Lombardia [lombarˈdiːa]; Lombard: Lombardia, Western Lombard: [lũbarˈdiːa], or Lombardéa, Eastern Lombard: [lombarˈde.a]) is one of the twenty administrative regions of Italy, in the northwest of the country, with an area of 23,844 square kilometres (9,206 sq mi). About 10 million people, forming one-sixth of Italy's population, live in Lombardy and about a fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in the region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest regions in Europe. Milan, Lombardy's capital, is the second-largest city and the largest metropolitan area in Italy.Marche
Marche (, Italian: [ˈmarke] (listen); Croatian: Marke), or the Marches , is one of the twenty regions of Italy. The name of the region derives from the plural name of marca, originally referring to the medieval March of Ancona and nearby marches of Camerino and Fermo. Marche is well known for its shoemaking tradition, with the finest and most luxurious Italian footwear being manufactured in this region.The region is located in the Central area of the country, bordered by Emilia-Romagna and the republic of San Marino to the north, Tuscany to the west, Umbria to the southwest, Abruzzo and Lazio to the south and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Except for river valleys and the often very narrow coastal strip, the land is hilly. A railway from Bologna to Brindisi, built in the 19th century, runs along the coast of the entire territory. Inland, the mountainous nature of the region, even today, allows relatively little travel north and south, except by twisting roads over the passes. The Umbrian enclave of Monte Ruperto (a subdivision of the Comune of Città di Castello) is entirely surrounded by the Province of Pesaro and Urbino, which constitutes the northern part of the region. Urbino, one of the major cities of the region, was the birthplace of Raphael, as well as a major center of Renaissance history.Pavone Canavese
Pavone Canavese is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Turin in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 45 km northeast of Turin.
Pavone Canavese borders the following municipalities: Ivrea, Banchette, Samone, Colleretto Giacosa, Romano Canavese, Perosa Canavese, San Martino Canavese.Piedmont
Piedmont ( PEED-mont; Italian: Piemonte, pronounced [pjeˈmonte]; Piedmontese, Occitan and Arpitan: Piemont, Piedmontese pronunciation: [pjeˈmʊŋt]) is a region in northwest Italy, one of the 20 regions of the country. It borders the Liguria region to the south, the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions to the east and the Aosta Valley region to the northwest; it also borders Switzerland to the northeast and France to the west. It has an area of 25,402 square kilometres (9,808 sq mi) and a population of 4,377,941 as of 30 November 2017. The capital of Piedmont is Turin.Roman Italy
Italia (the Latin name for the Italian Peninsula) was the homeland of the Romans and metropole of Rome's empire in classical antiquity. According to Roman mythology, Italy was the new home promised by Jupiter to Aeneas of Troy and his descendants, ancestors of the founders of Rome. Aside from the legendary accounts, Rome was an Italian city-state that changed its form of government from Kingdom to Republic and then grew within the context of a peninsula dominated by the Celts in the North, the Etruscans in the Centre, and the Greeks in the South.
The consolidation of Italy into a single entity occurred during the Roman expansion in the peninsula, when Rome formed a permanent association with most of the local tribes and cities. The strength of the Italian alliance was a crucial factor in the rise of Rome, starting with the Punic and Macedonian wars between the 3rd and 2nd century BC. As provinces were being established throughout the Mediterranean, Italy maintained a special status which made it "not a province, but the Domina (ruler) of the provinces". Such a status meant that Roman magistrates exercised the Imperium domi (police power) within Italy, rather than the Imperium militiae (military power) used abroad. Italy's inhabitants had Latin Rights as well as religious and financial privileges.
The period between the end of the 2nd century BC and the 1st century BC was turbulent, beginning with the Servile Wars, continuing with the opposition of aristocratic élite to populist reformers and leading to a Social War in the middle of Italy. However, Roman citizenship was recognized to the rest of the Italics by the end of the conflict and then extended to Cisalpine Gaul when Julius Caesar became Roman Dictator. In the context of the transition from Republic to Principate, Italy swore allegiance to Octavian Augustus and was then organized in eleven regions from the Alps to the Ionian Sea.
More than two centuries of stability followed, during which Italy was referred to as the rectrix mundi (queen of the world) and omnium terrarum parens (motherland of all lands). Several emperors made notable accomplishments in this period: Claudius incorporated Britain into the Roman Empire, Vespasian subjugated the Great Revolt of Judea and reformed the financial system, Trajan conquered Dacia and defeated Parthia, and Marcus Aurelius epitomized the ideal of the philosopher king.
The crisis of the third century hit Italy particularly hard and left the eastern half of the Empire more prosperous. In 286 AD the Roman Emperor Diocletian moved the capital of the Western Roman Empire from Rome to Mediolanum. Nevertheless, the islands of Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and Malta were added to Italy by Diocletian in 292 AD, and Italian cities such as Mediolanum and Ravenna continued to serve as capitals for the West.
The Bishop of Rome gained importance during Constantine's reign and was given religious primacy with the Edict of Thessalonica under Theodosius I. Italy was invaded several times by the barbarians and fell under the control of Odoacer, when Romulus Augustus was deposed in 476 AD. In the sixth century, Italy's territory was divided between the Byzantine Empire and the Germanic peoples. After that, Italy remained divided until 1861, when it was reunited in the Kingdom of Italy, which became the present-day Republic of Italy in 1946.Sicily
Sicily (Italian: Sicilia [siˈtʃiːlja]; Sicilian: Sicilia [sɪˈʃiːlja]) is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands, officially referred to as Regione Siciliana.
Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina. Its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, and one of the most active in the world, currently 3,329 m (10,922 ft) high. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate.
The earliest archaeological evidence of human activity on the island dates from as early as 12,000 BC. By around 750 BC, Sicily had three Phoenician and a dozen Greek colonies and it was later the site of the Sicilian Wars and the Punic Wars. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, Sicily was ruled during the Early Middle Ages by the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, the Byzantine Empire, and the Emirate of Sicily. The Norman conquest of southern Italy led to the creation of the Kingdom of Sicily, which was subsequently ruled by the Hohenstaufen, the Capetian House of Anjou, Spain, and the House of Habsburg. It was unified under the House of Bourbon with the Kingdom of Naples as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It became part of Italy in 1860 following the Expedition of the Thousand, a revolt led by Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Italian unification, and a plebiscite. Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region on 15th May 1946, 18 days before the Italian constitutional referendum of 1946. However, much of the autonomy still remains unapplied, especially financial autonomy, because the autonomy-activating laws have been deferred to be approved by the joint committee (50% Italian State, 50% Regione Siciliana), since 1946.
Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature, cuisine, and architecture. It is also home to important archaeological and ancient sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples, Erice and Selinunte.South Italy
South Italy (Italian: Italia meridionale or just Sud Italia) is one of the five official statistical regions of Italy used by the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), a first level NUTS region and a European Parliament constituency. South Italy encompasses six of the country's 20 regions:
MoliseSouth Italy is defined only for statistical and electoral purposes. It should not be confused with the Mezzogiorno, which generally refers to all the southern half of the Italian State, including the island of Sicily and sometimes even Sardinia. The two islands form a distinct statistical region, called Insular Italy.Tuscany
Tuscany ( TUSK-ə-nee; Italian: Toscana [toˈskaːna]) is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres (8,900 square miles) and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants (2013). The regional capital is Florence (Firenze).
Tuscany is known for its landscapes, history, artistic legacy, and its influence on high culture. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has been home to many figures influential in the history of art and science, and contains well-known museums such as the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is sometimes considered "a nation within a nation".
Tuscany is a popular destination in Italy, the main tourist spots are Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Siena, Versilia, Maremma and Chianti. The village of Castiglione della Pescaia is the most visited seaside destination in the region, with seaside tourism accounting for approximately 40% of tourist arrivals. Additionally, Siena, Lucca, the Chianti region, Versilia and Val d'Orcia are also internationally renowned and particularly popular spots among travellers.
Seven Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Sites: the historic centre of Florence (1982); the Cathedral square of Pisa (1987); the historical centre of San Gimignano (1990); the historical centre of Siena (1995); the historical centre of Pienza (1996); the Val d'Orcia (2004), and the Medici Villas and Gardens (2013). Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. In 2012, the city of Florence was the world's 89th most visited city, with over 1.834 million arrivals.
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