Regions of Italy

The Regions of Italy are the first-level administrative divisions of the state. There are twenty regions, five of which are autonomous regions with special statutes.

Proposals for greater regional autonomy (even going as far as federalism) have been made an issue in Italian politics in recent years, aided by the emergence of parties such as the Lega Nord. In 2005 the centre-right government led by Silvio Berlusconi proposed a new reform of the Constitution that would have entailed greatly increasing the powers of the regions in areas such as health and education. In June 2006 the proposals, which had been particularly associated with Berlusconi’s partners in government, the Northern League, and seen by some as leading the way to a federal state, were rejected in a referendum by 61.7% to 38.3%.


Every region has a statute that serves as a regional constitution. Fifteen regions have ordinary statutes and five have special statutes.

Regions with ordinary statute

These regions, whose statutes are approved by their regional councils, were created in the 1970s, even though the Italian Constitution dates back to 1947. Since the constitutional reform of 2001 they have had legislative as well as administrative powers, but financially they are still heavily dependent on the central state.

Autonomous regions with special statute

Five regions (namely Sardinia, Sicily, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Aosta Valley and Friuli-Venezia Giulia) have been granted special status of autonomy. Their statutes are constitutional laws approved by the Italian Parliament, granting them relatively broad powers in relation to legislation and administration, but also significant financial autonomy. They keep between 60% (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) and 100% (Sicily) of all taxes and decide how to spend the revenues.

These regions became autonomous in order to take into account that they host linguistic minorities (German-speaking in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, French-speaking in Aosta Valley, Slovenians in Friuli-Venezia Giulia) or are geographically isolated (the two islands, but also Friuli-Venezia Giulia).

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol constitutes a special case. The region itself is nearly powerless and the powers granted by the region's statute are mostly exercised by the two autonomous provinces within the region, Trento and Bolzano. The regional institutions play a coordinating role.

List of Regions

Italy is subdivided into 20 regions ("regioni", singular "regione"). The five special regions are marked by an asterisk (*).


Each region has an elected Consiglio Regionale (regional council), which elects a Giunta Regionale' (regional government) headed by the regional President, who is elected directly by the citizens. The President nominates and can dismiss the members of the Giunta. If the President resigns new elections are immediately called.

ee also

*Italian NUTS level 1 regions
*Regional Council (Italy)
*Presidents of Regions of Italy
*Provinces of Italy
*Municipalities of Italy
*Flags of regions of Italy

External links

* [ CityMayors article]
*it icon [ Regional Governments of Italy on]
*it icon [ Regional Governments of Italy on]

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