Italian Provinces ordered by region
Italy (excluding the major islands) was considered ager romanus (=territory of Rome) and under Augustus was divided into eleven Regiones: Latium et Campania; Apulia et Calabria; Lucania et Bruttium; Samnium; Etruria; Picenum; Umbria; Aemilia; Venetia et Histria; Liguria; Transpadana). The term regio -onis derived from the verb regĕre (=to govern), which came to signify the administered territory.
At the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861, the provinceswere only 59, and today's Veneto, the eastern part of Mantua, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige were still part of the Hapsburg Empire, while Lazio had remained in the Papal State. Many provinces of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies passed directly from the pre-unification governments to the new state, only the province of Benevento was newly created.
Under the Fascist government (1923-1943) many territorial changes were made and in 1927 the largest province of Terra di Lavoro was suppressed, and many new provinces were created: Aosta, Bolzano, Brindisi, Castrogiovanni (later Enna), Frosinone, Gorizia, Matera, Nuoro, Pescara, Pistoia, Ragusa, Rieti, Savona, Terni, Varese, Vercelli and Viterbo.
After the Second World War, a number of new provinces were also established, or their territories redefined: Bolzano and Trento (1948), Trieste (1954), Pordenone (1968), Isernia (1970), Oristano (1974). In 1992 eight new provinces were created: Biella, Crotone, Lecco, Lodi, Prato, Rimini, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Vibo Valentia, and in 2004the three provinces of Monza e Brianza, Fermo and Barletta-Andria-Trani. After a short division in 2003 into eight provinces, in 2016 the Sardegna region was reorganized into five provinces.
After 2016, Provinces are due to be dismantled as administrative units, as established by Law no.56 of April 7, 2014, and converted into second level administrative bodies elected by limited suffrage, while other provinces have already become metropolitan cities: Bari, Bologna, Firenze, Genova, Milano, Napoli, Roma, Torino, Venezia, Reggio Calabria. However, Provinces will remain as geographical and historical entities.