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The comune (IPA: [koˈmune]; plural: comuni, IPA: [koˈmuni]) is a basic administrative division in Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality.

Contents

1 Importance and function 2 Subdivisions 3 Homonymy 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Importance and function[edit] The comune provides many of the basic civil functions: registry of births and deaths, registry of deeds, and contracting for local roads and public works. It is headed by a mayor (sindaco) assisted by a legislative body, the consiglio comunale (communal council), and an executive body, the giunta comunale (communal committee). The mayor and members of the consiglio comunale are elected together by resident citizens: the coalition of the elected mayor (who needs an absolute majority in the first or second round of voting) gains three fifths of the consiglio's seats. The giunta comunale is chaired by the mayor, who appoints others members, called assessori, one of whom serves as deputy mayor (vicesindaco). The offices of the comune are housed in a building usually called the municipio, or palazzo comunale. As of March 2018 there were 7,954 comuni in Italy; they vary considerably in area and population. For example, the comune of Rome, in Lazio, has an area of 1,307.71 km² and a population of 2,761,477, and is both the largest and the most populated comune in Italy; Fiera di Primiero
Fiera di Primiero
in the province of Trentino
Trentino
(Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol) was the smallest comune by area, with only 0.15 km², and Pedesina
Pedesina
in the province of Sondrio (Lombardy) is the smallest by population, with 34 inhabitants. The density of comuni' varies widely by province and region: the province of Bari, for example, has 1,564,000 inhabitants in 48 municipalities, or over 32,000 inhabitants per municipality; whereas the Aosta Valley
Aosta Valley
has 121,000 inhabitants in 74 municipalities, or 1,630 inhabitants per municipality – roughly twenty times more communal units per inhabitant. There are inefficiencies at both ends of the scale, and there is concern about optimizing the size of the comuni so they may best function in the modern world, but planners are hampered by the historical resonances of the comuni, which often reach back many hundreds of years, or even a full millennium. While provinces and regions are creations of the central government, and subject to fairly frequent border changes, the natural cultural unit is indeed the comune, for many Italians, their hometown. In recent years however, it has thus become quite rare for comuni to be merged or divided. Many comuni also have a municipal police (polizia municipale), which is responsible for public order duties. Traffic control is their main function in addition to controlling commercial establishments to ensure they open and close according to their license. Subdivisions[edit] Administrative areas inside comuni varies according to their population. Comuni with at least 250000 residents are divided into circoscrizioni (circonscriptions, roughly equivalent to French arrondissements or London boroughs) to which the comune delegates administrative functions like schools, social services and waste collection; such functions varies from comune to comune. These bodies are headed by an elected president and a local council. Smaller comuni usually comprises:

A main city, town or village, that almost always gives its name to the comune; such a place is referred to as the capoluogo ("head-place" or "capital"; cf. the French chef-lieu) of the comune; the word comune is also used in casual speech to refer to the city hall. Outlying areas called frazioni (singular: frazione, abbreviated: fraz., literally "fraction"), each usually centred on a small town or village. These frazioni have usually never had any independent historical existence, but occasionally are former smaller comuni consolidated into a larger one. They may also represent settlements which predated the capoluogo: the ancient town of Pollentia
Pollentia
(today Pollenzo), for instance, is a frazione of Bra. In recent years the frazioni have become more important thanks to the institution of the consiglio di frazione (fraction council), a local form of government which can interact with the comune to address local needs, requests and claims. Even smaller places are called località ("localities", abbreviated: loc.). Smaller administrative divisions called municipalità, rioni, quartieri, terzieri, sestieri or contrade, which are similar to districts and neighbourhoods.

Sometimes a frazione might be more populated than the capoluogo; and rarely, owing to unusual circumstances (like depopulation), the town hall and its administrative functions can be moved to one of the frazioni: but the comune still retains the name of the capoluogo. In some cases, a comune might not have a capoluogo but only some frazioni. In these cases, it is a comune sparso ("sparse comune") and the frazione which houses the town hall (municipio) is a sede municipale (compare county seat). Homonymy[edit] There are not many perfect homonymous Italian municipalities. There are only eight cases in 16 comuni:[2]

Brione: Brione, Lombardy
Lombardy
and Brione, Trentino Calliano: Calliano, Piedmont
Calliano, Piedmont
and Calliano, Trentino Castro: Castro, Apulia
Castro, Apulia
and Castro, Lombardy Livo: Livo, Lombardy
Lombardy
and Livo, Trentino Peglio: Peglio, Lombardy
Lombardy
and Peglio, Marche Samone: Samone, Piedmont
Samone, Piedmont
and Samone, Trentino San Teodoro: San Teodoro, Sardinia
San Teodoro, Sardinia
and San Teodoro, Sicily Valverde: Valverde, Lombardy
Lombardy
and Valverde, Sicily

This is mostly due to the fact the name of the province or region was appended to the name of the municipality in order to avoid the confusion. Remarkably two provincial capitals share the name Reggio: Reggio nell'Emilia, the capital of the Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia
province, in the Emilian part of the Emilia-Romagna region, and Reggio di Calabria, the capital of the homonymous province. Many other towns or villages are likewise partial homonyms (e.g. Anzola dell'Emilia
Anzola dell'Emilia
and Anzola d'Ossola, or Bagnara Calabra
Bagnara Calabra
and Bagnara di Romagna). See also[edit]

List of comuni of Italy
Italy
by region and province List of places in Italy
Italy
whose names were changed Alphabetical list of comuni of Italy

International

Communes of France Municipio, Spanish & Portuguese Medieval commune

References[edit]

^ "Comuni dal 1861". www.comuniverso.it. Retrieved 19 March 2017.  ^ (in Italian) Complete list and infos on Comuni-italiani.it

External links[edit]

Associazione Nazionale Comuni Italiani (in Italian). Media related to Municipalities in Italy
Italy
at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of comune at Wiktionary

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Italy articles

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Articles on third-level administrative divisions of countries

Austria Bangladesh Belgium Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Burkina Faso Brunei Cambodia Cameroon Chile China Costa Rica Côte d'Ivoire Dominican Republic East Timor Ecuador Ethiopia Finland France Germany Greece Guinea Haiti India Indonesia

district subdistrict

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Italy Ivory Coast Japan Liberia Lebanon Lithuania Mali Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Nepal Niger Panama Papua New Guinea Peru Philippines Portugal Russia Senegal Sierra Leone Slovakia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Switzerland Taiwan Tajikistan Thailand Togo Ukraine United States Vietnam Zimbabwe

List of administrative divisions by country

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Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

English terms

Common English terms1

Area

Insular area Local government area Protected area Special
Special
area Statistical area

Combined statistical area Metropolitan statistical area Micropolitan statistical area

Urban area

Canton

Half-canton

Borough

County
County
borough Metropolitan borough

Capital

Federal capital Imperial capital

City

City
City
state Autonomous city Charter city Independent city Incorporated city Imperial city Free imperial city Royal free city

Community

Autonomous community Residential community

County

Administrative county Autonomous county Consolidated city-county Metropolitan county

Non-metropolitan

Viscountcy

Country

Overseas country

Department

Overseas department

District

Capital district City
City
district Congressional district Electoral district Federal district Indian government district Land district Metropolitan district

Non-metropolitan district

Military district Municipal district Police district Regional district Rural district Sanitary district Subdistrict Urban district Special
Special
district

Division

Census division Police division Subdivision

Municipality

City
City
municipality County
County
municipality

Norway Nova Scotia Regional county municipality

Direct-controlled municipality District
District
municipality Mountain resort municipality Neutral municipality Regional municipality Resort municipality Rural municipality Specialized municipality

Prefecture

Autonomous prefecture Subprefecture Super-prefecture Praetorian prefecture

Province

Autonomous province Overseas province Roman province

Region

Administrative region Autonomous region Capital region Development region Economic region Mesoregion Microregion Overseas region Planning region Special
Special
administrative region Statistical region Subregion

Reserve

Biosphere reserve Ecological reserve Game reserve Indian reserve Nature reserve

State

Federal state Free state Sovereign state

Territory

Capital territory

Federal capital territory

Dependent territory Federal territory Military territory Organized incorporated territory Overseas territory Union territory Unorganized territory

Town

Census town Market town

Township

Charter township Civil township Paper township Survey township Urban township

Unit

Autonomous territorial unit Local administrative unit Municipal unit Regional unit

Zone

Economic zone

Exclusive economic zone Free economic zone Special
Special
economic zone

Free-trade zone Neutral zone Self-administered zone

Other English terms

Current

Alpine resort Bailiwick Banner

Autonomous

Block Cadastre Circle Circuit Colony Commune Condominium Constituency Duchy Eldership Emirate Federal dependency Governorate Hamlet Ilkhanate Indian reservation Manor

Royal

Muftiate Neighbourhood Parish Periphery Precinct Principality Protectorate Quarter Regency Autonomous republic Riding Sector

Autonomous

Shire Sultanate Suzerainty Townland Village

Administrative Summer

Ward

Historical

Agency Barony Burgh Exarchate Hide Hundred Imperial Circle March Monthon Presidency Residency Roman diocese Seat Tenth Tithing

Non-English or loanwords

Current

Amt Bakhsh Barangay Bezirk Regierungsbezirk Comune Frazione Fu Gemeinde Județ Kunta / kommun

Finland Sweden

Län Località Megye Muban Oblast

Autonomous

Okrug Ostān Poblacion Purok Shahrestān Sum Sýsla Tehsil Vingtaine

Historical

Commote Gau Heerlijkheid Köping Maalaiskunta Nome

Egypt Greece

Pagus Pargana Plasă Satrapy Socken Subah Syssel Zhou

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Arabic
Arabic
terms for country subdivisions

First-level

Muhafazah (محافظة governorate) Wilayah (ولاية province) Mintaqah (منطقة region) Mudiriyah (مديرية directorate) Imarah (إمارة emirate) Baladiyah (بلدية municipality) Shabiyah (شعبية "popularate")

Second / third-level

Mintaqah (منطقة region) Qadaa (قضاء district) Nahiyah (ناحية subdistrict) Markaz (مركز district) Mutamadiyah (معتمدية "delegation") Daerah/Daïra (دائرة circle) Liwa (لواء banner / sanjak)

City / township-level

Amanah (أمانة municipality) Baladiyah (بلدية municipality) Ḥai (حي neighborhood / quarter) Mahallah (محلة) Qarya (قرية) Sheyakhah (شياخة "neighborhood subdivision")

English translations given are those most commonly used.

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French terms for country subdivisions

arrondissement département préfecture subprefectures

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Greek terms for country subdivisions

Modern

apokentromenes dioikiseis / geniki dioikisis§ / diamerisma§ / periphereia nomos§ / periphereiaki enotita demos / eparchia§ / koinotita§

Historical

archontia/archontaton bandon demos despotaton dioikesis doukaton droungos eparchia exarchaton katepanikion kephalatikion kleisoura meris naukrareia satrapeia strategis thema toparchia tourma

§ signifies a defunct institution

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Portuguese terms for country subdivisions

Regional subdivisions

Estado Distrito federal Província Região Distrito Comarca Capitania

Local subdivisions

Município Concelho Freguesia Comuna Circunscrição

Settlements

Cidade Vila Aldeia Bairro Lugar

Historical subdivisions in italics.

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Slavic terms for country subdivisions

Current

dzielnica gmina krai kraj krajina / pokrajina městys obec oblast / oblast' / oblasti / oblys / obwód / voblast' okręg okres okrug opština / općina / občina / obshtina osiedle powiat / povit raion selsoviet / silrada sołectwo voivodeship / vojvodina županija

Historical

darugha gromada guberniya / gubernia jurydyka khutor obshchina okolia opole pogost prowincja sorok srez starostwo / starostva uyezd volost ziemia župa

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Spanish terms for country subdivisions

National, Federal

Comunidad autónoma Departamento Distrito federal Estado Provincia Región

Regional, Metropolitan

Cantón Comarca Comuna Corregimiento Delegación Distrito Mancomunidad Merindad Municipalidad Municipio Parroquia

Ecuador Spain

Urban, Rural

Aldea Alquería Anteiglesia Asentamiento

Asentamiento informal Pueblos jóvenes

Barrio Campamento Caserío Ciudad

Ciudad autónoma

Colonia Lugar Masía Pedanía Población Ranchería Sitio Vereda Villa Village
Village
(Pueblito/Pueblo)

Historical subdivisions in italics.

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Turkish terms for country subdivisions

Modern

il (province) ilçe (district) şehir (city) kasaba (town) belediye (municipality) belde (community) köy (village) mahalle (neighbourhood/quarter)

Historical

ağalık (feudal district) bucak (subdistrict) beylerbeylik (province) kadılık (subprovince) kaza (sub-province) hidivlik (viceroyalty) mutasarrıflık (subprovince) nahiye (nahiyah) paşalık (province) reya (Romanian principalities) sancak (prefecture) vilayet (province) voyvodalık (Romanian provinces)

1 Used by ten or more countries or having derived terms. Historical derivations in italics. See also: Census division, Electoral district, Political division, and List of administrative di

.