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 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.[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 favor in Veneto to 82% against in Calabria.[2]

Regional control

Number of regions controlled by each coalition since 1995:



Flag Region
Italian name
Status Population[3]
January 2016
Area Pop. density Capital city President Number of comuni[4] Metropolitan cities
Number % km² %
Flag of Abruzzo.svg Abruzzo
Ordinary 1,326,513 2.19% 10,832 3.59% 122 L'Aquila Luciano D'Alfonso
Democratic Party
305 -
Flag of Valle d'Aosta.svg Aosta Valley
Valle d'Aosta
Autonomous 127,329 0.21% 3,261 1.08% 39 Aosta Laurent Viérin
Progressive Valdostan Union
74 -
Flag of Apulia.svg Apulia
Ordinary 4,077,166 6.72% 19,541 6.47% 209 Bari Michele Emiliano
Democratic Party
258 Bari
Flag of Basilicata.svg Basilicata
Ordinary 573,694 0.95% 10,073 3.33% 57 Potenza Marcello Pittella
Democratic Party
131 -
Flag of Calabria.svg Calabria
Ordinary 1,970,521 3.25% 15,222 5.04% 129 Catanzaro Mario Oliverio
Democratic Party
405 Reggio Calabria
Flag of Campania.svg Campania
Ordinary 5,850,850 9.64% 13,671 4.53% 428 Naples Vincenzo De Luca
Democratic Party
550 Naples
Flag of Emilia-Romagna.svg Emilia-Romagna
Ordinary 4,448,146 7.33% 22,453 7.43% 198 Bologna Stefano Bonaccini
Democratic Party
333 Bologna
Flag of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.svg Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Autonomous 1,221,218 2.01% 7,862 2.60% 155 Trieste Debora Serracchiani
Democratic Party
216 -
Flag of Lazio.svg Lazio
Ordinary 5,888,472 9.70% 17,232 5.70% 342 Rome Nicola Zingaretti
Democratic Party
378 Rome
Flag of Liguria.svg Liguria
Ordinary 1,571,053 2.59% 5,416 1.79% 290 Genoa Giovanni Toti
Forza Italia
235 Genoa
Flag of Lombardy.svg Lombardy
Ordinary 10,008,349 16.50% 23,864 7.90% 419 Milan Attilio Fontana
Lega Nord
1,523 Milan
Flag of Marche.svg Marches
Ordinary 1,543,752 2.54% 9,401 3.11% 164 Ancona Luca Ceriscioli
Democratic Party
229 -
Flag of Molise.svg Molise
Ordinary 312,027 0.51% 4,461 1.48% 70 Campobasso Paolo Di Laura Frattura
Democratic Party
136 -
Flag of Piedmont.svg Piedmont
Ordinary 4,404,246 7.26% 25,387 8.40% 173 Turin Sergio Chiamparino
Democratic Party
1,202 Turin
Flag of the Italian region Sardinia.svg Sardinia
Autonomous 1,658,138 2.73% 24,100 7.98% 69 Cagliari Francesco Pigliaru
Democratic Party
377 Cagliari
Sicilian Flag.svg Sicily
Autonomous 5,074,261 8.36% 25,832 8.55% 196 Palermo Nello Musumeci
Centre-right independent
390 Catania
Flag of Trentino-South Tyrol.svg Trentino-South Tyrol
Trentino-Alto Adige
Autonomous 1,059,114 1.75% 13,606 4.50% 78 Trento Arno Kompatscher
South Tyrolean People's Party
293 -
Flag of Tuscany.svg Tuscany
Ordinary 3,744,398 6.17% 22,987 7.61% 163 Florence Enrico Rossi
Article 1 – Democratic and Progressive Movement
276 Florence
Flag of Umbria.svg Umbria
Ordinary 891,181 1.47% 8,464 2.80% 105 Perugia Catiuscia Marini
Democratic Party
92 -
Flag of Veneto.svg Veneto
Ordinary 4,915,123 8.10% 18,407 6.09% 267 Venice Luca Zaia
Lega Nord
575 Venice
Flag of Italy.svg ITALY 60,665,551 100% 302,073 100% 201 Rome Sergio Mattarella
7,978 14


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

Map Macroregion
Italian name
Regions Major city Population
January 2016
Area (km²) Pop. density
Number % km² %
Italian NUTS1 NorthWest.svg
Aosta Valley
Milan 16,110,977 26.56% 57,928 19.18% 278
Italian NUTS1 NorthEast.svg
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Trentino-South Tyrol
Bologna 11,643,601 19.19% 62,328 20.63% 187
Italian NUTS1 Central.svg
Rome 12,067,803 19.89% 58,084 19.23% 208
Italian NUTS1 South.svg
Naples 14,110,771 23.26% 73,800 24.43% 191
Italian NUTS1 Islands.svg
Isole or Insulare (adj)
Palermo 6,732,399 11.10% 49,932 16.53% 135


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,[5] 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).[6] Yet their financial autonomy is quite modest: they just keep 20% of all levied taxes, mostly used to finance the region-based healthcare system.[7]

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.[8]

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.[citation needed]


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.

Representation in the Senate

Number of senators currently assigned to each Region.

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 senator 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).

Region Seats[9] Region Seats Region Seats
Abruzzo Abruzzo 7 Friuli-Venezia Giulia Friuli-Venezia Giulia 7 Sardinia Sardinia 8
Aosta Valley Aosta Valley 1 Lazio Lazio 28 Sicily Sicily 25
Apulia Apulia 20 Liguria Liguria 8 Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol Trentino-South Tyrol 7
Basilicata Basilicata 7 Lombardy Lombardy 49 Tuscany Tuscany 18
Calabria Calabria 10 Marche Marches 8 Umbria Umbria 7
Campania Campania 29 Molise Molise 2 Veneto Veneto 24
Emilia-Romagna Emilia-Romagna 22 Piedmont Piedmont 22 Overseas constituencies 6

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]
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.svg 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.svg 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 Marches 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
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. ^ a b c "Speciale Referendum 2006". la Repubblica. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "Population Italian Regions". tuttitalia.it. 
  4. ^ "Italian Comuni". tuttitalia.it. 
  5. ^ Statuti Regionali - Edizioni Simone
  6. ^ The Constitution of the Italian Republic
  7. ^ Report RAI - Le regioni a statuto speciale (Italian), retrieved 21st Jan 2009 [1], [2] Archived October 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ 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 http://www.med-eu.org/proceedings/MED1/Kudo.pdf.
  9. ^ http://www.senato.it/leg/17/BGT/Schede/Attsen/Regioni/01.html
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h GDP per capita in the EU in 2011

External links