The Italian regions

Italy has over 60 million inhabitants and is divided in 20 regions and 109 provinces. Five regions are autonomous with a special statute, which allows them some legislative, administrative and financial power to a varying extent. These regions became autonomous in order to take into account cultural differences and protect linguistic minorities. The autonomous regions are the Aosta Valley, Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and the islands Sicily and Sardinia. The other 15 regions have a normal statute and since 2001 more authority but no financial autonomy.

Italy is divided into North (North-West and North-East), Central and South Italy and has 109 provinces. The largest cities are Rome (Lazio) with almost 2,8 million inhabitants, Milan (Lombardy) with a population of almost 1,4 million, Naples (Campania) with nearly 1 million and Turin (Piedmont) with 850.000 inhabitants, followed by Palermo (630.000) and Genoa (560.000). Smaller cities are Bologna 390.000, Florence 360.000, Bari 315.000, Catania 300.000 and Verona 255.000.

These are the 20 Italian regions.

North-West Italy
  • Aosta Valley (autonomous)
  • Liguria
  • Lombardy
  • Piedmont 
  • Sardinia (autonomous)
  • Sicily (autonomous)
* As a geographical region, Central Italy may also include the regions of Abruzzo and Molise, but these are usually part of Southern Italy for cultural and historical reasons. From 1816 to 1861, when Italy was unified, Abruzzo (and at that time that also included Molise) belonged to the kingdom of the Two Sicilies.