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Autonomous regions with special statute

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Autonomous regions with special statute

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The regions of Italy are the first-level administrative divisions of the state, constituting its second NUTS administrative level.[1] There are twenty 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

Flag Region Italian name Capital city Area (km2) Population Pop. density Provinces Municipalities Metropolitan cities Status Governor or President
Abruzzo Abruzzo L'Aquila 10,763 1,311,803 122 4 305 - Ordinary Giovanni Chiodi
Aosta Valley Valle d'Aosta Aosta 3,263 127,897 39 1 74 - Autonomous Augusto Rollandin
Apulia Puglia Bari 19,358 4,050,300 209 6 258 Bari Ordinary Nichi Vendola
Basilicata Basilicata Potenza 9,995 575,688 58 2 131 - Ordinary Vito De Filippo
Calabria Calabria Catanzaro 15,081 1,957,716 130 5 409 Reggio Calabria Ordinary Giuseppe Scopelliti
Campania Campania Naples 13,590 5,767,394 424 5 551 Naples Ordinary Stefano Caldoro
Emilia-Romagna Emilia-Romagna Bologna 22,446 4,379,349 194 9 348 Bologna Ordinary Vasco Errani
40px Friuli-Venezia Giulia Friuli-Venezia Giulia Trieste 7,858 1,222,008 155 4 218 Trieste Autonomous Debora Serracchiani
Lazio Lazio Rome 17,236 5,559,865 322 5 378 Rome Ordinary Nicola Zingaretti
Liguria Liguria Genoa 5,422 1,564,275 289 4 235 Genoa Ordinary Claudio Burlando
Lombardy Lombardia Milan 23,861 9,810,339 409 12 1544 Milan Ordinary Roberto Maroni
Marche Marche Ancona 9,366 1,545,215 165 5 239 - Ordinary Gian Mario Spacca
Molise Molise Campobasso 4,438 313,138 70 2 136 - Ordinary Paolo Di Laura Frattura
Piedmont Piemonte Turin 25,402 4,373,736 172 8 1206 Turin Ordinary Roberto Cota
Sardinia Sardegna Cagliari 24,090 1,641,047 68 - 377 Cagliari Autonomous Ugo Cappellacci
Sicily Sicilia Palermo 25,711 4,999,198 194 9 390 Catania
Autonomous Rosario Crocetta
Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol Trento 13,607 1,040,966 76 2 333 - Autonomous Arno Kompatscher
Tuscany Toscana Florence 22,994 3,692,433 160 10 287 Florence Ordinary Enrico Rossi
Umbria Umbria Perugia 8,456 886,503 105 2 92 - Ordinary Catiuscia Marini
Veneto Veneto Venice 18,399 4,885,271 264 7 581 Venice Ordinary Luca Zaia


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 ( 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 (

Autonomous regions with special statute

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 Alto Adige/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

Other administrative divisions


External links

  • CityMayors article


  • Regional Governments of Italy on
  • Regional Governments of Italy on
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