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 20 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 Luciano D'Alfonso
Democratic Party
Flag of Valle d'Aosta.svg Aosta Valley Aosta 3,263 128,591 39 1 74 - Autonomous Augusto Rollandin
Union Valdôtaine
Flag of Apulia.svg Apulia Bari 19,358 4,090,266 211 6 258 Bari Ordinary Nichi Vendola
Left Ecology Freedom
Flag of Basilicata.svg Basilicata Potenza 9,995 578,391 58 2 131 - Ordinary Marcello Pittella
Democratic Party
Flag of Calabria.svg Calabria Catanzaro 15,081 1,980,533 131 5 409 Reggio Calabria Ordinary Gerardo Mario Oliverio
Democratic Party
Flag of Campania.png Campania Naples 13,590 5,869,965 432 5 551 Naples Ordinary Stefano Caldoro
Forza Italia
Flag of Emilia-Romagna.svg Emilia-Romagna Bologna 22,446 4,446,354 198 9 348 Bologna Ordinary Stefano Bonaccini
Democratic Party
Flag of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.jpg Friuli-Venezia Giulia Trieste 7,858 1,229,363 156 4 218 Trieste Autonomous Debora Serracchiani
Democratic Party
Flag of Lazio.svg Lazio Rome 17,236 5,870,451 340 5 378 Rome Ordinary Nicola Zingaretti
Democratic Party
Flag of Liguria.svg Liguria Genoa 5,422 1,591,939 293 4 235 Genoa Ordinary Claudio Burlando
Democratic Party
Flag of Lombardy.svg Lombardy Milan 23,861 9,973,397 418 12 1544 Milan Ordinary Roberto Maroni
Lega Nord
Flag of Marche.svg Marche Ancona 9,366 1,553,138 166 5 239 - Ordinary Gian Mario Spacca
Democratic Party
Flag of Molise.svg Molise Campobasso 4,438 314,725 71 2 136 - Ordinary Paolo Di Laura Frattura
Democratic Party
Flag of Piedmont.svg Piedmont Turin 25,402 4,436,798 175 8 1206 Turin Ordinary Sergio Chiamparino
Democratic Party
Flag of the Italian region Sardinia.svg Sardinia Cagliari 24,090 1,663,859 70 8 377 Cagliari Autonomous Francesco Pigliaru
Democratic Party
Sicilian Flag.svg Sicily Palermo 25,711 5,094,937 198 9 390 Catania, Messina, Palermo Autonomous Rosario Crocetta
Democratic Party
Flag of Trentino-South Tyrol.svg Trentino-Alto Adige Trento 13,607 1,051,951 77 2 333 - Autonomous Ugo Rossi
Flag of Tuscany.svg Tuscany Florence 22,994 3,750,511 163 10 287 Florence Ordinary Enrico Rossi
Democratic Party
Flag of Umbria.svg Umbria Perugia 8,456 896,742 106 2 92 - Ordinary Catiuscia Marini
Democratic Party
Flag of Veneto.svg Veneto Venice 18,399 4,926,818 268 7 581 Venice Ordinary Luca Zaia
Lega Nord
Total 301,336 60,782,668 202 110 8,092


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 statues[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.

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 president is one of the two provincial presidents.



Flag Name GDP 2011 million, EUR[7] GDP 2011 per capita 2011, EUR[8] GDP 2011 million PPS, EUR[9] GDP 2011 per capita 2011 PPS, EUR[10]
Flag of Abruzzo.svg Abruzzo 30,073 22,400 29,438 21,900
Flag of Valle d'Aosta.svg Aosta Valley 4,328 33,700 4,236 33,000
Flag of Apulia.svg Apulia 69,974 17,100 68,496 16,700
Flag of Basilicata.svg Basilicata 10,744 18,300 10,517 17,900
Flag of Calabria.svg Calabria 33,055 16,400 32,357 16,100
Flag of Campania.png Campania 93,635 16,000 91,658 15,700
Flag of Emilia-Romagna.svg Emilia-Romagna 142,609 32,100 139,597 31,400
Flag of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.jpg Friuli-Venezia Giulia 36,628 29,600 35,855 29,000
Flag of Lazio.svg Lazio 172,246 29,900 168,609 29,300
Flag of Liguria.svg Liguria 43,998 27,200 43,069 26,700
Flag of Lombardy.svg Lombardy 337,161 33,900 330,042 33,200
Flag of Marche.svg Marche 40,877 26,100 40,014 25,500
Flag of Molise.svg Molise 6,414 20,100 6,278 19,700
Flag of Piedmont.svg Piedmont 125,997 28,200 123,336 27,600
Flag of the Italian region Sardinia.svg Sardinia 33,075 19,700 32,377 19,300
Sicilian Flag.svg Sicily 83,956 16,600 82,183 16,300
Flag of Trentino-South Tyrol.svg Trentino-Alto Adige 35,797 34,450 35,041 33,700
Flag of Tuscany.svg Tuscany 106,013 28,200 103,775 27,600
Flag of Umbria.svg Umbria 21,533 23,700 21,078 23,200
Flag of Veneto.svg Veneto 149,527 30,200 146,369 29,600

Macroregions: First-level NUTS of the European Union[edit]

Code Name GDP 2011 million, EUR[11] GDP 2011 per capita 2011, EUR[12] GDP 2011 million PPS, EUR[13] GDP 2011 per capita 2011 PPS, EUR[14]
ITE Centre 340,669 28,400 333,475 27,800
ITD North-East 364,560 31,200 356,862 30,600
ITC North-West 511,484 31,700 500,683 31,000
ITG Islands 117,031 17,400 114,560 17,000
ITF South 243,895 17,200 238,744 16,800
- Extra-regio 2,771 - 2,712 -
  • Centre: Lazio, Marche, Tuscany, Umbria
  • North-East: Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto
  • North-West: Aosta Valley, Liguria, Lombardy, Piedmont
  • Islands: Sardinia, Sicily
  • South: Abruzzo, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise
  • Extra-regio: 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. For EU Member States the share of extra-regio GVA varies typically from almost zero to about 2.5% of total GVA at national level. 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. Member States are entitled, but not obliged to calculate GDP for the extra-regio. In the table extra regio GDP appears only for those Member States which decided to make use of this possibility.)

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
  7. ^ GDP per capita in the EU in 2011
  8. ^ GDP per capita in the EU in 2011
  9. ^ GDP per capita in the EU in 2011
  10. ^ GDP per capita in the EU in 2011
  11. ^ GDP per capita in the EU in 2011
  12. ^ GDP per capita in the EU in 2011
  13. ^ GDP per capita in the EU in 2011
  14. ^ GDP per capita in the EU in 2011

External links[edit]