The Regions of Italy

Italy is divided into 20 regions (regioni) which act as first level administrative units, the next step up being the national government (governo). Some of these regions you may have heard of – Sicily (Sicilia), Sardinia (Sardegna), Tuscany (Toscana), Piedmont (Piemonte), whereas other names are less well known but just as important. On travelling in Italy you may have come across the names of the Veneto in the north-east, Umbria in Central Italy and Puglia, Italy’s ‘heel’. Each region has a ‘capital’ (capoluogo), such as Venice (Venezia) for the Veneto, Milan (Milano) in Lombardy (Lomabardia) and Rome in Lazio, which is also of course the capital of the Italian nation.
Each region has adminsitrative and some legisltaive powers and the President and members of each regional council (consiglio regionale) is voted by the electorate of each region. Some regions, for example Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli-Venezia Giulia in the North, Sicily and Sardinia also have ‘special’ powers in relation to legislation, administration and finance and are commonly known as “autonomous regions” thanks to their special statute (statuto speciale). All regions acquired a significant level of autonomy following a constitutional reform in 2001.

Further reading:

Regions of Italy in wikipedia (Eng.)
Regioni Italiane (Ital.)

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