The Italian Regions

Italy is currently administratively divided into 20 Regions, the first level of subdivision of the Italian state.

The 20 Regions

The Division into Regions

The current 20 regions of Italy are the first level of subdivision of the Italian state, and enjoy political and administrative autonomy as defined by the Constitution of the Italian Republic (art. 114-133). Each region is divided into provinces, apart from Valle d'Aosta which has no provinces. Each Province is then divided into comuni (over 8100), which may be subdivided into frazioni for total over 35,000 comuni and frazioni altogether. Moreover, since 2016 ten "metropolitan cities" have been established as administrative entities, taking over also the functions of their previous provinces.

When Italy was unified in 1861, there were no regions, while provinces and comuni existed in the former Italian states. Some form of grouping provinces appeared in the late 19th century with the term of compartimenti which in 1912 was replaced by the term regioni. Italy introduced regions into its jurisdiction with the Constitution that entered into force on January 1, 1948, which in articles 114 and 115 stated: "The Republic is divided into Regions, Provinces and Comuni."

At that time, the compartimenti of Friuli and Venezia Giulia were merged into the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and Abruzzo and Molise merged into the "Abruzzi and Molise" region, which in 1963 was again split into the two regions of Abruzzo and Molise, bringing the current number of regions to 20.


Some Italian regions are not artificially created entities, but often had a separate history, and different cultural, social and linguistic traits. At the time of the Unity of Italy in 1861, the Italian peninsula and its islands was divided into the following separate states:
  • The Kingdom of Sardinia with capital Torino, included Piemonte, Liguria, Savoy, Nice, the Principality of Monaco and Sardinia.
  • The Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia with capital Milano was a satellite state S of Austria and included Lombardy and Veneto.
  • The Duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, included the territories of Parma and Piacenza.
  • The Duchy of Modena and Reggio included the territories of di Modena, Reggio Emilia e Massa Carrara.
  • The Grand Duchy of Tuscany, with capital Florence, corresponded largely to modern Tuscany.
  • The Papal States, with capital Rome, included Lazio, Umbria, Marche, Romagna and part of Emilia.
  • The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, with capital Naples, included southern Lazio, Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Puglia, Calabria, Basilicata and Sicily.
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Administrative Divisions of Italy
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