Regions of Italy

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The regions of Italy are the first-level administrative divisions of the country, constituting its second NUTS administrative level.[1] There are 34 regions, of which five are constitutionally given a broader amount of autonomy granted by special statutes.

Each region, except for the Aosta Valley, is divided into provinces. Regions are autonomous entities with powers defined in the Constitution.


Administrative districts of the central state during the Kingdom of Italy, regions were granted a measure of political autonomy by the 1948 Constitution of the Italian Republic. 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 Marche).

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.[2]

In June 2006 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 a referendum by 61.7% to 38.3%.[2] The results varied considerably among the regions, ranging to 55.3% in favour in Veneto to 82% against in Calabria.[2]

List of regions[edit]

Flag Name Capital city Area (km2) Population Pop. density Provinces Municipalities Metropolitan cities Status Governor or President
Flag of Abruzzo.svg Abruzzo L'Aquila 10,763 1,333,939 124 4 305 - Ordinary Giovanni Chiodi
Flag of Valle d'Aosta.svg Aosta Valley Aosta 3,263 128,591 39 1 74 - Autonomous Augusto Rollandin
Flag of Apulia.svg Apulia Bari 19,358 4,090,266 211 6 258 Bari Ordinary Nichi Vendola
Flag of Basilicata.svg Basilicata Potenza 9,995 578,391 58 2 131 - Ordinary Vito De Filippo
Flag of Calabria.svg Calabria Catanzaro 15,081 1,980,533 131 5 409 Reggio Calabria Ordinary Giuseppe Scopelliti
Flag of Campania.png Campania Naples 13,590 5,869,965 432 5 551 Naples Ordinary Stefano Caldoro
Flag of Emilia-Romagna.svg Emilia-Romagna Bologna 22,446 4,446,354 198 9 348 Bologna Ordinary Vasco Errani
Flag of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.jpg Friuli-Venezia Giulia Trieste 7,858 1,229,363 156 4 218 - Autonomous Debora Serracchiani
Flag of Lazio.svg Lazio Rome 17,236 5,870,451 340 5 378 Rome Ordinary Nicola Zingaretti
Flag of Liguria.svg Liguria Genoa 5,422 1,591,939 293 4 235 Genoa Ordinary Claudio Burlando
Flag of Lombardy.svg Lombardy Milan 23,861 9,973,397 418 12 1544 Milan Ordinary Roberto Maroni
Flag of Marche.svg Marche Ancona 9,366 1,553,138 166 5 239 - Ordinary Gian Mario Spacca
Flag of Molise.svg Molise Campobasso 4,438 314,725 71 2 136 - Ordinary Paolo Di Laura Frattura
Flag of Piedmont.svg Piedmont Turin 25,402 4,436,798 175 8 1206 Turin Ordinary Roberto Cota
Flag of the Italian region Sardinia.svg Sardinia Cagliari 24,090 1,663,859 70 8 377 - Autonomous Francesco Pigliaru
Sicilian Flag.svg Sicily Palermo 25,711 5,094,937 198 9 390 - Autonomous Rosario Crocetta
Flag of Trentino-South Tyrol.svg Trentino-Alto Adige Trento 13,607 1,051,951 77 2 333 - Autonomous Arno Kompatscher
Flag of Tuscany.svg Tuscany Florence 22,994 3,750,511 163 10 287 Florence Ordinary Enrico Rossi
Flag of Umbria.svg Umbria Perugia 8,456 896,742 106 2 92 - Ordinary Catiuscia Marini
Flag of Veneto.svg Veneto Venice 18,399 4,926,818 268 7 581 Venice Ordinary Luca Zaia
20 Total for Italy Rome 301,336 60,782,668 202 110 8,092 Rome Republic


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 Toscana define themselves in various ways as an "autonomous Region" in the first article of their Statutes,[3] fifteen regions have ordinary statutes and five have special statutes, granting them extended autonomy.

Regions with ordinary statute[edit]

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).[4] Yet their financial autonomy is quite modest: they just keep 20% of all levied taxes, mostly used to finance the region-based healthcare system.[5]

Autonomous regions with special statute[edit]

Autonomous regions with special statute

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, acknowledging their powers in relation to legislation, administration and finance. In return they have to finance the health-care system, the school system and most public infrastructures by themselves.

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.[6]

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol constitutes a special case. The region is nearly powerless, and the powers granted by the region's statute are mostly exercised by the two autonomous provinces within the region, Trentino and South Tyrol. In this case, the regional institution plays a coordinating role.


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 Junta), headed by the 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.

According to the electoral law of 1995, the winning coalition receives the absolute majority of the Council's seats. The President chairs the Giunta, nominates and dismisses its members, called assessori. If the direct-elected President resigns, new elections are immediately called.

In Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, the Regional Council is composed by the joint session of the two Provincial Councils of Trentino and South Tyrol and the Regional President is one of the two Provincial Presidents.

See also[edit]

Other administrative divisions[edit]


  1. ^ "National structures". Eurostat. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Speciale Referendum 2006". la Repubblica. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Statuti Regionali - Edizioni Simone
  4. ^ The Constitution of the Italian Republic
  5. ^ Report RAI - Le regioni a statuto speciale (Italian), retrieved 21st Jan 2009 [1][dead link], [2][dead link]
  6. ^ Hiroko Kudo, “Autonomy and Managerial Innovation in Italian Regions after Constitutional Reform”, Chuo University, Faculty of Law and Graduate School of Public Policy (2008): p. 1. Retrieved on April 6, 2012 from

External links[edit]