Regions of Italy

The regions of Italy (Italian: regioni) are the first-level administrative divisions of Italy, 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.


As the 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 from 55.3% in favour in Veneto to 82% against in Calabria.[2]

Regional control

Number of regions controlled by each coalition since 1995:



Flag Region
Italian name
Capital city Area (km2) Population[3]
January 2015
Pop. density Comuni[4] Metropolitan cities Status Macroregion Governor or President
L'Aquila 10,763 1,331,574 123 305 - Ordinary South Luciano D'Alfonso
Democratic Party
Aosta Valley
Valle d'Aosta
Aosta 3,263 128,298 39 74 - Autonomous North-West Augusto Rollandin
Union Valdôtaine
Bari 19,358 4,090,105 211 258 Bari Ordinary South Michele Emiliano
Democratic Party
Potenza 9,995 576,619 57 131 - Ordinary South Marcello Pittella
Democratic Party
Catanzaro 15,081 1,976,631 130 409 Reggio Calabria Ordinary South Mario Oliverio
Democratic Party
Naples 13,590 5,861,529 429 550 Naples Ordinary South Vincenzo De Luca
Democratic Party
Bologna 22,446 4,450,508 198 334 Bologna Ordinary North-East Stefano Bonaccini
Democratic Party
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Trieste 7,858 1,227,122 156 216 Autonomous North-East Debora Serracchiani
Democratic Party
Rome 17,236 5,892,425 342 378 Rome Ordinary Centre Nicola Zingaretti
Democratic Party
Genoa 5,422 1,583,263 292 235 Genoa Ordinary North-West Giovanni Toti
Forza Italia
Milan 23,861 10,008,349 419 1,528 Milan Ordinary North-West Roberto Maroni
Lega Nord
Ancona 9,366 1,550,796 165 236 - Ordinary Centre Luca Ceriscioli
Democratic Party
Campobasso 4,438 313,348 70 136 - Ordinary South Paolo Di Laura Frattura
Democratic Party
Turin 25,402 4,424,467 174 1,202 Turin Ordinary North-West Sergio Chiamparino
Democratic Party
Cagliari 24,090 1,663,286 69 377 Autonomous Islands Francesco Pigliaru
Democratic Party
Palermo 25,711 5,092,080 197 390 Autonomous Islands Rosario Crocetta
Democratic Party
Trentino-South Tyrol
Trentino-Alto Adige
Trento 13,607 1,055,934 78 294 - Autonomous North-East Ugo Rossi
Florence 22,994 3,752,654 163 279 Florence Ordinary Centre Enrico Rossi
Democratic Party
Perugia 8,456 894,762 106 92 - Ordinary Centre Catiuscia Marini
Democratic Party
Venice 18,399 4,927,596 268 576 Venice Ordinary North-East Luca Zaia
Lega Nord
ITALY Rome 301,336 60,795,612 201 8,000 Sergio Mattarella


Macroregions are the first-level NUTS of the European Union:(it)

Map Macroregion
Italian name
Major city Area (km2) Population[5]
November 2014
Pop. density Comuni No. of Metropolitan cities
Milan 57,931 16,139,142 278.59 3,059 3
Bologna 62,310 11,662,318 187.16 1,480 3
Rome 58,051 12,086,829 208.21 996 2
Naples 73,224 14,150,037 193.24 1,790 4
Isole or Insulare
Palermo 49,801 6,750,519 135.54 767 4


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,[6] fifteen regions have ordinary statutes and five have special statutes, granting them extended autonomy.

Regions with ordinary statute

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).[7] Yet their financial autonomy is quite modest: they just keep 20% of all levied taxes, mostly used to finance the region-based healthcare system.[8]

Autonomous regions with special statute

Autonomous regions

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. 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.[9]

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.

Economy of regions and macroregions

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

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.

See also

Other administrative divisions


  1. "National structures". Eurostat. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 "Speciale Referendum 2006". la Repubblica. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  3. "Population Italian Regions".
  4. "Italian Comuni".
  5. "Population November 2014". ISTAT. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  6. Statuti Regionali - Edizioni Simone
  7. The Constitution of the Italian Republic
  8. Report RAI - Le regioni a statuto speciale (Italian), retrieved 21st Jan 2009 , Archived October 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. 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
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 GDP per capita in the EU in 2011

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