Provinces of Italy

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My correspondents have been writing about various schemes to consolidate or eliminate the provinces. Italy, like some other European countries, has been spending too much money on maintaining too many levels of local government.

The Delrio law took effect on 2014-04-08. It provides that the provinces will cease to function on 2015-01-01. Ten of them will be replaced by metropolitan cities with the same territory. The ten are Bari, Bologna, Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Reggio di Calabria, Rome, Turin, and Venice (source [9]). The change was not implemented in Reggio, and has been delayed in Venice.

If the provinces are eliminated, the regions will be the primary administrative subdivisions (as perhaps they should be already). That will pose a special problem for my HASC codes. Currently, the secondary divisions are the 8,104 communes. The province with the most communes is Turin, which has 97, a fairly manageable number. The region with the most communes is Lombardy, with 1,546 of them. If the provinces are eliminated, I would want to give the communes new HASC codes based on the regions. To assign a different two-character code to each of 1,546 communes, I would need an alphabet with 40 characters. That's just another way of saying that ideally there should be some layer of subdivisions intermediate to the regions and communes.

Gintautas Gaidamavicius sent me a link to a document that seems to be available only on the Internet Archive. Its title is "Circoscrizioni Statistiche", published by Istituto Centrale di Statistica in August 1958. With admirable thoroughness, it divides Italy into 10 regioni statistiche plus Rome, where each statistical region consists of one or more historical regions; 92 province; over 300 settori statistici; perhaps 1,000 regioni agrarie; and the thousands of comuni. Cutting across these are 5 zone altimetriche. It shows clearly how they relate to each other, and gives populations and areas down to the regione agraria level. Do these all still exist? A search for settori statistici nowadays turns up nothing geographic, but only economic sectors. Some provinces, at least, have regioni agrarie. A spot-check of Benevento shows that there are now 6 regioni agrarie in the province as compared to 5 in the 1958 document, but most of them have similar names.

There are some circondari, or unions of communes. As far as I can tell, they fall far short of covering all of Italy. I found no overall plan governing their creation, management, function, or even naming. For example, Wikipedia lists two unions in Genoa province, one with five communes and one with nine. Genoa has 67 communes in all.

The NUTS code scheme was revised in 2003. All codes for Italy that were listed on this page changed. The NUTS-1 level areas, known as gruppi di regioni (groups of regions) were consolidated from eleven groups into five. There was another change in 2010. Because of the transfer of seven communes from Marche to Emilia-Romagna, those regions were given new codes. Because of the hierarchical structure of NUTS, all of their provinces' codes also changed. Other changes resulted from the creation of three new provinces, which took effect in 2009. The new codes are shown in the tables below.

Fabien Antoine pointed out to me that a referendum was held on 2012-05-06 concerning the four Sardinian provinces that were created in 2001. The result was for their abolition, to take effect when a regional law is passed, no later than 2013-03-01. Even more significantly, according to Italy's Metronews website (source [6]), the Council of Ministers has decided that provinces should have a population of at least 350,000 and an area of at least 2,500 km.². Following those criteria, 66 provinces will have to be abolished; however, 10 of them will become metropolitan cities (città metropolitane), a new status which will apparently be on the same level as the provinces. The deadline for this transformation is 2014-01-01. Later, Le Figaro reported that the legislature has "buried the bill reducing the number of provinces under a rain of 700 amendments" (mixed metaphor in original: source [7]).

Newsletter II-2, an update to the ISO 3166-2 standard, is dated 2010-06-30. It changes the ISO codes assigned to three of the new provinces, so that province codes and sigle match.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number II-1, dated 2010-02-03, adds ISO codes for the most recently-created provinces.

The original ISO 3166-2 Newsletter I-8 was published on 2007-04-17. It had ISO codes for the new provinces of Italy. However, two of them didn't match the provincial sigle. When this was brought to the attention of the maintenance agency, they revised the codes. A corrected version of the newsletter was issued, bearing the same date; I received notification of it on 2007-05-10. (The reason I go into all this detail is that some of my readers may have saved the original newsletter, and may now be wondering why their ISO codes don't match mine.)

Mario Pezza writes that new provinces appear on maps as of the date of the law creating them, but only become active when their first provincial council is elected. Therefore, the provinces of Barletta-Andria-Trani, Fermo, and Monza e Brianza were defined as of 2004-06-11, the date the laws were passed. They became active in 2009-06.

International standard ISO 3166-2 was published on December 15, 1998. It superseded ISO/DIS 3166-2 (draft international standard). For Italy, the draft standard showed 20 regions and ignored the provinces. The final standard shows the same 20 regions with the same codes, but no longer as primary divisions of Italy. Instead, the 103 provinces are shown as the primary subdivisions.

Country overview: 

Short nameITALY
ISO codeIT
LanguageItalian (it)
Time zone+1 ~


Italy struggled its way to national unification in the 19th century, except for some Italian-speaking borderlands called Italia irredenta (unredeemed Italy). In World War I, Italy chose the winning side. In reward, it achieved its main territorial ambitions: the incorporation of the South Tyrol and the area around Trieste. After World War II, as a defeated Axis power, it lost part of Trieste, and all of its colonies.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Italien
  2. Dutch: Italië, Italiaanse Republiek (formal)
  3. English: Italian Republic (formal)
  4. Finnish: Italia
  5. French: Italie f
  6. German: Italien n
  7. Icelandic: Ítalía
  8. Italian: Italia f, Repubblica Italiana (formal)
  9. Norwegian: Italia, Republikken Italia (formal)
  10. Portuguese: Itália f, República f Italiana (formal)
  11. Russian: Италия, Итальянская Республика (formal)
  12. Spanish: Italia f, República f Italiana (formal)
  13. Swedish: Italien
  14. Turkish: İtalya Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

from Vituli, name of a tribe in Apulia

Primary subdivisions: 

Italy is divided into 109 province (sing. provincia: provinces) and Aosta, whose provincial functions are carried out by the regional government of Valle d'Aosta.

Agrigento IT.AGAG92ITG14446,8373,0431,175SCAgrigentoagrigentini
Alessandria IT.ALAL15ITC18427,2293,5621,375PMAlessandriaalessandrini
Ancona IT.ANAN60ITI32473,8651,940749MHAnconaanconetani
Aosta IT.AOAO11ITC20126,8063,2641,260VDAostaaostani
Arezzo IT.ARAR52ITI18343,6763,2361,250TCArezzoaretini
Ascoli Piceno IT.ACAP63ITI34210,4071,227474MHAscoli Picenoascolani
Asti IT.ATAT14ITC17217,5731,511584PMAstiastigiani
Avellino IT.AVAV83ITF34429,1572,7921,078CMAvellinoavellinesi
Bari IT.BBBA70ITF471,247,3033,8241,476PUBaribaresi
Barletta-Andria-TraniIT.BTBT76ITF48391,7231,532591PUAndria, Barletta, Trani
Belluno IT.BLBL32ITH33210,0013,6791,420VNBellunobellunesi
Benevento IT.BNBN82ITF32284,9002,071800CMBeneventobeneventani
Bergamo IT.BGBG24ITC461,086,2772,7251,052LMBergamobergamaschi
Biella IT.BIBI13ITC13182,192915353PMBiellabiellesi
Bologna IT.BOBO40ITH55976,2433,7031,430ERBolognabolognesi
Bolzano IT.BZBZ39ITH10504,6437,4032,858TTBolzanobolzanini
Brescia IT.BSBS25ITC471,238,0444,7841,847LMBresciabresciani
Brindisi IT.BRBR72ITF44400,8011,840710PUBrindisibrindisini
Cagliari IT.CGCA09ITG27550,5804,5701,764SDCagliaricagliaritani
Caltanissetta IT.CLCL93ITG15273,0992,124820SCCaltanissettanisseni
Campobasso IT.CBCB86ITF22226,4192,9101,124MLCampobassocampobassani
Carbonia-Iglesias IT.CICI09ITG2C128,5401,495577SDCarbonia, Iglesiascarboniensi
Caserta IT.CECE81ITF31904,9212,6401,019CMCasertacasertani
Catania IT.CTCT95ITG171,078,7663,5531,372SCCataniacatanesi
Catanzaro IT.CZCZ88ITF63359,8412,392924CICatanzarocatanzaresi
Chieti IT.CHCH66ITF14387,9562,5901,000ABChietiteatini
Como IT.COCO22ITC42586,7351,289498LMComocomaschi
Cosenza IT.CSCS87ITF61714,0306,6522,569CICosenzacosentini
Cremona IT.CRCR26ITC4A357,6231,771684LMCremonacremonesi
Crotone IT.KRKR88ITF62170,8031,717663CICrotonecrotoniati
Cuneo IT.CNCN12ITC16586,3786,9062,666PMCuneocuneesi
Enna IT.ENEN94ITG16173,4512,562989SCEnnaennesi
Fermo IT.FMFM63ITI35174,857861332MHFermo
Ferrara IT.FEFE44ITH56353,4812,6331,017ERFerraraferraresi
Florence IT.FIFI50ITI14973,1453,5151,357TCFlorencefiorentini
Foggia IT.FAFG71ITF46626,0726,9592,687PUFoggiafoggiani
Forlì-Cesena IT.FOFC47ITH58390,7382,377918ERForlìforlivesi
Frosinone IT.FRFR03ITI45492,6613,2451,253LZFrosinonefrusinati
Genoa IT.GEGE16ITC33855,8341,840710LGGenoagenovesi
Gorizia IT.GOGO34ITH43140,143466180FVGoriziagoriziani
Grosseto IT.GRGR58ITI1A220,5644,5041,739TCGrossetogrossetani
Imperia IT.IMIM18ITC31214,5021,157447LGImperiaimperiesi
Isernia IT.ISIS86ITF2187,2411,530591MLIserniaisernini
L'Aquila IT.AQAQ67ITF11298,3435,0361,944ABL'Aquilaaquilani
La Spezia IT.SPSP19ITC34219,330881340LGLa Speziaspezzini
Latina IT.LTLT04ITI44544,7322,251869LZLatinalatinensi
Lecce IT.LELE73ITF45802,0182,7601,066PULecceleccesi
Lecco IT.LCLC23ITC43336,310817315LMLeccolecchesi
Livorno IT.LILI57ITI16335,2471,212468TCLivornolivornesi
Lodi IT.LOLO26ITC49223,755782302LMLodilodigiani
Lucca IT.LULU55ITI12388,3271,774685TCLuccalucchesi
Macerata IT.MCMC62ITI33319,6072,7751,071MHMaceratamaceratesi
Mantua IT.MNMN46ITC4B408,3362,340903LMMantuamantovani
Massa-Carrara IT.MSMS54ITI11199,6501,157447TCMassamassesi
Matera IT.MTMT75ITF52200,1013,4501,332BCMateramaterani
Medio Campidano IT.MDVS09ITG2B101,2561,516585SDSanluri, Villacidro
Messina IT.MEME98ITG13649,8243,2481,254SCMessinamessinesi
Milan IT.MAMI20ITC4C3,038,4201,593615LMMilanmilanesi
Modena IT.MOMO41ITH54685,7772,6891,038ERModenamodenesi
Monza e Brianza IT.MZMB20ITC4D840,129388150LMMonza
Naples IT.NANA80ITF333,054,9561,172452CMNaplesnapoletani
Novara IT.NONO28ITC15365,5591,339517PMNovaranovaresi
Nuoro IT.NRNU08ITG26159,1973,9341,519SDNuoronuoresi
Ogliastra IT.OGOG08ITG2A57,3291,854716SDLanusei, Tortolì
Olbia-Tempio IT.OTOT07ITG29150,5013,3991,312SDOlbia, Tempio Pausaniaolbiesi
Oristano IT.ONOR09ITG28163,9163,0401,174SDOristanooristanesi
Padua IT.PDPD35ITH36921,3612,142827VNPaduapadovani
Palermo IT.PAPA90ITG121,243,5854,9931,928SCPalermopalermitani
Parma IT.PRPR43ITH52427,4343,4501,332ERParmaparmigiani
Pavia IT.PVPV27ITC48535,8222,9671,145LMPaviapavesi
Perugia IT.PGPG06ITI21655,8446,3362,446UMPerugiaperugini
Pesaro e Urbino IT.PSPU61ITI31362,5832,8931,117MHPesaropesaresi
Pescara IT.PEPE65ITF13314,6611,226473ABPescarapescaresi
Piacenza IT.PCPC29ITH51284,6162,5901,000ERPiacenzapiacentini
Pisa IT.PIPI56ITI17411,1902,446944TCPisapisani
Pistoia IT.PTPT51ITI13287,866965373TCPistoiapistoiesi
Pordenone IT.PNPN33ITH41310,8112,274878FVPordenonepordenonesi
Potenza IT.PZPZ85ITF51377,9356,5512,529BCPotenzapotentini
Prato IT.POPO59ITI15245,916366141TCPratopratesi
Ragusa IT.RGRG97ITG18307,4921,614623SCRagusaragusani
Ravenna IT.RARA48ITH57384,7611,859718ERRavennaravennati
Reggio di Calabria IT.RCRC89ITF65550,9673,1851,230CIReggio di Calabriareggini
Reggio nell'Emilia IT.RERE42ITH53517,3162,293885ERReggio nell'Emiliareggiani
Rieti IT.RIRI02ITI42155,1642,7501,062LZRietireatini
Rimini IT.RNRN47ITH59321,769534206ERRiminiriminesi
Rome IT.RMRM00ITI433,997,4655,3532,067LZRomeromani
Rovigo IT.RORO45ITH37242,3491,791691VNRovigorodigini
Salerno IT.SASA84ITF351,092,8764,9191,899CMSalernosalernitani
Sassari IT.SXSS07ITG25328,0434,2821,653SDSassarisassaresi
Savona IT.SVSV17ITC32281,0281,546597LGSavonasavonesi
Siena IT.SISI53ITI19266,6213,8211,475TCSienasenesi
Sondrio IT.SOSO23ITC44180,8143,2121,240LMSondriosondriesi
Syracuse IT.SRSR96ITG19399,9332,109814SCSyracusesiracusani
Taranto IT.TATA74ITF43584,6492,437941PUTarantotarantini
Teramo IT.TETE64ITF12306,3491,949752ABTeramoteramani
Terni IT.TRTR05ITI22228,4242,123820UMTerniternani
Trapani IT.TPTP91ITG11429,9172,461950SCTrapanitrapanesi
Trento IT.TNTN38ITH20524,8326,2092,397TTTrentotrentini
Treviso IT.TVTV31ITH34876,7902,477956VNTrevisotrevigiani
Trieste IT.TSTS34ITH44232,60121282FVTriestetriestini
Turin IT.TOTO10ITC112,247,7806,8332,638PMTurintorinesi
Udine IT.UDUD33ITH42535,4304,9071,894FVUdineudinesi
Varese IT.VAVA21ITC41871,8861,199463LMVaresevaresini
Venice IT.VEVE30ITH35846,9622,462951VNVeniceveneziani
Verbano-Cusio-Ossola IT.VBVB28ITC14160,2642,256871PMVerbaniaverbanesi
Vercelli IT.VCVC13ITC12176,9412,089807PMVercellivercellesi
Verona IT.VRVR37ITH31900,5423,1211,205VNVeronaveronesi
Vibo Valentia IT.VVVV88ITF64163,4091,140440CIVibo Valentiavibonesi
Vicenza IT.VIVI36ITH32859,2052,7231,051VNVicenzavicentini
Viterbo IT.VTVT01ITI41312,8643,6131,395LZViterboviterbesi
110 divisions59,433,744301,252116,319
  • Province: Names are given in their common English form, where that differs from the Italian.
    Aosta is a region. Bolzano and Trento are autonomous provinces.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2 (see note below).
  • CAP: Codici di Avviamento Postale (postal codes). Italy has a system of five-digit postal codes.
    The first two digits are constant within each province. (In a few cases, two or more provinces
    use the same first two digits.)
  • NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics, a European standard. The first four
    characters of the NUTS code for each province are the NUTS code for the region to which the
    province belongs.
  • Population: 2011-10-09 census.
  • Reg: Region to which the province belongs (see list below).
  • Adjective: Masculine plural adjective for inhabitants of the provincial capital, or the province as
    a whole.


Note: ISO province codes as of 2010-02-03 are the same as sigle automobilistiche, except for that of Rome. Its sigla is ROMA. Sigle automobilistiche, or sigle de provenienza (vehicle codes, provenance codes) are used in Italy on license plates, maps, forms, etc. For more historical background, see source [5].

Further subdivisions:

See the Communes of Italy page.

Above the province level, Italy is subdivided into twenty regioni (sing. regione: region). Officially, these are autonomous regions with ordinary statute, except for five autonomous regions with special statute (FV, SC, SD, TT, VD). Both regions and provinces are frequently used in statistical lists, and to locate places. Regions were known as compartimenti (departments) until World War II. The provinces are further subdivided into comuni (communes). There are also some groups of communes that form an intermediate administrative level, the circondari (districts). When new provinces are formed, sometimes the area of the province is a former circondaro.

BasilicataBC77IT02ITF5 578,0369,9923,858Potenzalucani
Friuli-Venezia GiuliaFV36IT06ITH41,218,9857,8453,029Triestefriulani
MoliseML67IT11ITF2 313,6604,4381,713Campobassomolisani
Trentino-Alto AdigeTT32IT17ITHx1,029,47513,6185,258Trentotrentini
UmbriaUM55IT18ITI2 884,2688,4563,265Perugiaumbri
Valle d'AostaVD23IT19ITC2 126,8063,2621,260Aostavaldostani
20 regions59,433,744301,276116,325
  • Abv: Arbitrary two-letter region codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • NUTS: Nomenclature for Statistical Territorial Units. First three characters identify a NUTS-1 region.
  • Population: 2011-10-09 census.
  • Adjective: Masculine plural adjective for inhabitants of the region.


At the NUTS-2 level, Trentino-Alto Adige is divided into two codes: ITH1 for Provincia Autonoma Bolzano/Bozen and ITH2 for Provincia Autonoma Trento.

NUTS-1 regions, significant only for statistical purposes, are as follows.

NUTSNUTS nameCensus name
ITCNord-OvestItalia Nord-Occidentale
ITHNord-EstItalia Nord-Orientale
ITICentroItalia Centrale
ITFSudItalia Meridionale
ITGIsoleItalia Insulare

Territorial extent: 

  1. The region of Sardinia corresponds to the island of Sardinia. Any province in Sardinia region lies mainly on the island of Sardinia, although it may include other nearby islands. The same is true of Sicily.
  2. The regions of Venezia, Venezia Giulia e Zara, and Venezia Tridentina together were sometimes called Tre Venezie (the three Venetias), or Triveneto. They correspond to the modern regions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Adige, and Veneto, plus some territory in Croatia and Slovenia.
  3. Agrigento includes the Pelagian Islands: Lampedusa, Linosa, and the tiny islet of Lampione.
  4. Arezzo includes an exclave within Pesaro e Urbino, which consequently is also an exclave of Tuscany region within Marche. It's part of Badia Tedalda commune.
  5. Benevento includes an exclave within Avellino, constituting the commune of Pannarano.
  6. Cagliari includes the islands of Sant' Antíoco and San Pietro.
  7. Caltanissetta includes an exclave within Palermo, constituting the commune of Resuttano.
  8. Como includes a small exclave within the canton of Ticino, Switzerland, constituting the commune of Campione d'Italia.
  9. Enna includes a tiny exclave within Caltanissetta.
  10. Foggia includes the Tremiti islands: San Domino, San Nicola, Caprara, Pianosa, etc.
  11. Gorizia includes islands in the Laguna di Grado, as far west as the inlet of Porto Buso.
  12. Grosseto includes the islands of Giglio, Giannutri, and the Formiche di Grosseto.
  13. Latina includes the islands of Ponza, Palmarola, Ventoténe, Zamone, and other nearby islands.
  14. Livorno includes most of the Tuscan Archipelago, including the islands of Elba, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, and Gorgona.
  15. Matera includes an exclave within Potenza, part of Tricárico commune.
  16. Messina includes the Aeolian (Lipari) Islands, of which the largest are Lipari, Salina, Vulcano, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi, and Panarea.
  17. When Monza e Brianza becomes a separate province, Milan will include an exclave of Lentate sul Severo, surrounded by Como and Monza e Brianza.
  18. Naples includes the islands of Ischia, Capri, Prócida, and other nearby islands.
  19. Oristano includes the island of Mal di Ventre.
  20. Palermo includes an exclave within Agrigento, part of Bisacquino commune.
  21. Perugia includes an exclave within Pesaro e Urbino (which consequently is also an exclave of Umbria region within Marche), part of Città di Castello commune.
  22. Rimini includes a tiny exclave within Pesaro e Urbino (and barely touching San Marino; consequently also an exclave of Emilia-Romagna region within Marche), part of Verucchio commune.
  23. Sassari includes neighboring islands such as Asinara, Maddalena, Caprera, Spargi, Tavolara, Molara, Santo Stefano, Santa Maria, Rázzoli, and Budelli.
  24. Terni includes an exclave on the border between Perugia and Siena, part of Fabro commune.
  25. Trapani includes the islands of Pantelleria, Maréttimo, and the Égadi islands (Favignana, Lévanzo, etc.).
  26. Udine includes islands in the Laguna di Marano, as far east as Santa Andrea.
  27. Viterbo includes a small exclave on the border between Rieti and Terni, part of Gallese commune.

Origins of names: 

  1. Abruzzi: unknown, may be related to Latin aper: boar or abruptus: steep
  2. Alessandria: after Pope Alexander III
  3. Ancona: Ancient Greek ankon: bent arms, for the shape of two promontories
  4. Avellino: Latin Abellinum: pertaining to Abella, a city in Campania
  5. Bari: possibly from Ancient Greek baris: fortified house
  6. Basilicata: Ancient Greek basilikos: royal; former name Lucania is from Latin lucus: woods
  7. Benevento: named Maleventum prior to 268 B.C., when it was changed to Beneventum (Latin bene: good, eventum: fortune); however, Maleventum probably came from mal: height, not malus: bad
  8. Bolzano: possibly from Bautianum: Bautius's plantation
  9. Brindisi: brention: stag's head
  10. Cagliari: Greek Karalis, from pre-Indo-European kar: rock
  11. Calabria: from Calaber, ethnic name
  12. Caltanissetta: diminutive of Caltanissa, said to be from Arabic Kal`at: castle, an-Nisa': of women
  13. Campania: Latin campania: countryside, fields
  14. Campobasso: Italian for low field
  15. Caserta: Italian casa: house, erta: elevated, for a castle overlooking it
  16. Crotone: possibly from Ancient Greek kroton: castor-oil plant
  17. Cuneo: Latin cuneus: corner (between the Gesso and Stura Rivers)
  18. Emilia: from Latin Æmilia Regio, the destination of the Via Æmilia, whose construction began under consul Marcus Æmilius Lepidus
  19. Ferrara: probably Latin ferraria: iron smithy
  20. Florence: from Latin Florentia: flowering place
  21. Foggia: Italian dialect for ditch
  22. Forlì: Latin forum Livii: city of Livius (Roman consul Marcus Livius Salinator)
  23. Friuli: Latin Forum Julium: city of Julius Caesar
  24. Gorizia: Slovenian Gorica: little mountain
  25. Grosseto: possibly place of the grossi (type of fig trees)
  26. Imperia: after the river Impero; created in 1923 by the union of Porto Maurizio and Oneglia
  27. L'Aquila: Italian for "the eagle"
  28. Latina: renamed from Littoria in 1945 to avoid Fascist overtones; located in northern Latium
  29. Lazio: Latin Latium: broad plain
  30. Liguria: from Liguri, ethnic name
  31. Lodi: Latin Laude Pompeia: mention of Pompey, after Cneius Pompeius Strabo
  32. Lombardy: from ethnic name Langobardi, meaning men with long beards (or axes)
  33. Macerata: Latin for pisé, or rammed earth, because that method of construction was used
  34. Marche: Italian for march (buffer state)
  35. Messina: after the Greek region of Messinia, because of colonists from there
  36. Milan: Gallic medio: middle, lanon: inhabited place, through Latin Mediolanum
  37. Modena: possibly from Etruscan mutna: tomb
  38. Naples: Ancient Greek nea: new, polis: city
  39. Padua: probably from Padus, the Latin name of the Po River
  40. Palermo: Ancient Greek pan: all, hormos: anchorage (i.e. good harbor)
  41. Pescara: Medieval Latin piscaria: fish market
  42. Piacenza: Latin placentia: pleasure
  43. Piedmont: piedmont, or foothills, of the Alps
  44. Pisa: possibly pre-Indo-European pisa: wetland
  45. Pistoia: from Latin pistor: grinder of grain
  46. Ravenna: possibly pre-Indo-European rava: torrent
  47. Romagna: land of the Romans, as it remained part of the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire after the fall of Rome
  48. Sicily: from ethnic name Sikeloi
  49. Syracuse: named for a swamp
  50. Trapani: Ancient Greek drepanon: scythe, for the shape of a promontory
  51. Trentino-Alto Adige: Alto Adige means the upstream part of the Adige River
  52. Trieste: probably from an Indo-European root meaning market
  53. Turin: Latin Augusta Taurinorum, from the ethnic name Taurini
  54. Tuscany: Latin Tuscus: having to do with the Etruscans
  55. Valle d'Aosta: Valley of Aosta (city). Aosta comes from Latin Augusta prætoria Salassorum. It was a colony founded by emperor Augustus to house his pretorian guard, in the land of the Salassi.
  56. Venetia, Venice: land of the Veneti (ethnic name)

Change history: 

The 1911 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica said, "The kingdom is divided into 69 provinces, 284 regions, of which 197 are classed as circondarii and 87 as districts (the latter belonging to the province of Mantua and the 8 provinces of Venetia), 1806 administrative divisions (mandamenti) and 8262 communes. These were the figures at the date of the census. [Most likely this refers to the 1901 census.] In 1906 there were 1805 mandamenti and 8290 communes, and 4 boroughs in Sardinia not connected with communes." The following table is taken from the same source, although it only shows 68 provinces.

Aquila degli Abruzzi353,027436,3672,484Abruzzi and Molise
Ascoli Piceno209,185251,829796Marches
Bari delle Puglie679,499837,6832,065Apulia
Campobasso365,434389,9761,691Abruzzi and Molise
Chieti343,948387,6041,138Abruzzi and Molise
Massa and Carrara169,469202,749687Tuscany
Pesaro and Urbino223,043259,0831,118Marches
Porto Maurizio132,251144,604455Liguria
Reggio di Calabria372,723437,2091,221Calabria
Teramo254,806312,1881,067Abruzzi and Molise
68 provinces28,459,62832,965,504110,623
  • Pop-1881: 1881-12-31 census.
  • Pop-1901: 1901-02-10 census.
  • Region: Region to which the province belonged.


Note: the figures given in the source are consistent, with a few exceptions. The figures for Lombardy don't add up right. Specifically, the total of the areas of the provinces of Lombardy falls short of the correct area for the whole region by 91 mi.². The 1881 populations of the individual provinces fall short of the regional total by 515,050. The 1901 populations exceed the regional total by 2,670,529. Part of that discrepancy must be due to Cremona, which is unlikely to have grown almost twelve-fold in two decades. There's one other problem: the total of the populations by region for 1901 is 32,965,954, which is 450 more than the reported total.

  1. 1920-07-16: Treaty of Saint-Germain took effect. Territory was transferred from several provinces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to Italy. The southern part of Tyrol province (about half) and a small part of Carinthia became Venezia Tridentina region, consisting of Trento province. Most of Coastland (Küstenland) province and the enclave of Zara in Dalmatia were annexed to Venezia region, becoming the provinces of Gorizia, Pola, and Trieste.
  2. 1920-11-12: Treaty of Rapallo signed, by which Fiume (Rijeka) became a free state, and Italy received two groups of Adriatic islands: in the north, Cherso (Cres), Lussin (Lošinj), and some smaller islands; in the south, Lagosta (Lastovo), Pelagosa (Palagruža), and others.
  3. 1923: Name of city and province of Porto Maurizio changed to Imperia. Name of Udine province, but not its capital, changed to Friuli.
  4. 1924-01-27: City of Fiume, and most of the Free State, annexed to Italy by treaty with Yugoslavia, becoming the province of Fiume in the region of Venezia.
  5. 1927: Nuoro province formed from parts of Cagliari and Sassari. Pistoia province split from Florence. Name of city and province of Girgenti changed to Agrigento. Name of city and province of Castrogiovanni changed to Enna.
  6. ~1927: Aosta province split from Turin. Bolzano province split from Trento. Brindisi and Taranto provinces split from Lecce. Castrogiovanni province formed from parts of Caltanissetta and Catania. Frosinone and Viterbo provinces split from Rome. La Spezia and Savona provinces split from Genoa. Matera province split from Potenza. Pescara province formed from parts of Chieti and Teramo. Ragusa province split from Syracuse. Rieti and Terni provinces split from Perugia; Rieti province transferred from Umbria region to Lazio. Varese province split from Como. Vercelli province split from Novara.
  7. 1934: Littoria province split from Rome.
  8. ~1935: Venezia region split into Venezia Euganea and Venezia Giulia e Zara regions. The latter consisted of Fiume, Gorizia, Pola, and Trieste provinces.
  9. ~1937: Name of Taranto province, but not its capital, changed to Ionio.
  10. 1937: Name of Pola province, but not its capital, changed to Istria.
  11. 1938: Name of Massa-Carrara province, and its capital Massa, changed to Apuania.
  12. ~1939: Asti province split from Alessandria. Name of Fiume province, but not its capital, changed to Carnaro. Name of Basilicata region changed to Lucania.
  13. ~1945: Massa city, Massa-Carrara, Taranto, and Udine provinces, and Basilicata region restored to their pre-war names. Name of Littoria city and province changed to Latina.
  14. 1945-09-07: Province of Valle d'Aosta abolished, and its powers transferred to the regional government.
  15. 1946-05-15: Sicily became an autonomous region with special statute.
  16. 1947-02-10: Peace treaty signed. Four small areas transferred from Piedmont and Liguria regions to France. An area around Trieste was made into the Free Territory of Trieste. It consisted of Zone A, containing Trieste itself, under U.S.-British allied military administration, and Zone B, under Yugoslavian military administration. Venezia Giulia e Zara region (except for small part of Gorizia province and the Free Territory of Trieste) transferred to Yugoslavia.
  17. 1947: Name of Venezia Tridentina region changed to Trentino-Alto Adige.
  18. 1948: Name of Emilia region changed to Emilia-Romagna.
  19. 1948-02-26: Valle d'Aosta region, consisting of the province of Aosta, split from Piedmont. It and Sardinia and Trentino-Alto Adige became autonomous regions with special statute.
  20. 1954-10-25: Zone A of Free Territory of Trieste annexed to Italy as the province of Trieste.
  21. 1963-01-31: Venezia Euganea region (capital Venice) split into Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto. Friuli-Venezia Giulia, an autonomous region with special statute, consisted of the provinces of Gorizia, Trieste, and Udine.
  22. ~1965: Abruzzi and Molise region (capital L'Aquila) split into Abruzzi region and Molise region.
  23. ~1969: Pordenone province split from Udine.
  24. 1974-07-16: Oristano province formed from parts of Cagliari and Nuoro.
  25. ~1979: Isernia province split from Campobasso.
  26. 1992-03-06: Biella province split from Vercelli.
  27. 1992-03-27: Prato province split from Florence.
  28. 1993-11-01: Under the Maastricht Treaty, the European Union replaced the European Communities, of which Italy was a member.
  29. 1996-01-01: New provinces created: Crotone and Vibo Valentia split from Catanzaro; Lecco formed from part of Como and smaller part of Bergamo; Lodi split from Milan; Rimini split from Forlì; Verbania split from Novara. Several of these had previously been circondari.
  30. 1999: Sigla of Pesaro e Urbino province changed from PS to PU.
  31. ~2000: Name of Forlì province changed to Forlì-Cesena, and its sigla changed from FO to FC; name of Verbania province changed to Verbano-Cusio-Ossola.
  32. 2001-07-12: Law passed, creating four new provinces in Sardinia region. Carbonia-Iglesias and Medio Campidano provinces split from Cagliari (former HASC code IT.CA). Ogliastra split from Nuoro (IT.NU). Olbia-Tempio formed from parts of Nuoro and Sassari (IT.SS). Parts of Nuoro transferred to Cagliari and Oristano (IT.OR). The new provinces became active following the elections of 2005-05-22 to 23. In earlier plans, Olbia-Tempio would have been named Gallura, and Carbonia-Iglesias would have been Sulcis-Iglesiente. Source [4] has a map of the changes.
  33. 2004-06-11: Three new provinces created. In Apulia region, Barletta-Andria-Trani was formed from parts of Bari (former HASC code IT.BA; 2001 population, 1,559,662; area, 5,139 km.²) and Foggia (IT.FG, 690,992, 7,192). In Marche, Fermo was split from Ascoli-Piceno (IT.AP, 369,371, 2,089). In the Lombardy region, Monza e Brianza was split from Milan (IT.MI, 3,707,210, 1,985). Their creation was approved by the Chamber of Deputies on 2003-10-29; passed by the Senate on 2004-05-19 (2004-05-12 in the case of Monza e Brianza); signed by the President on 2004-06-11; and published in the Official Gazette on 2004-06-15. Barletta-Andria-Trani became active on 2009-06-08; Fermo on 2009-06-22; and Monza e Brianza on 2009-06-07.
  34. 2006-12: Sigla of Medio Campidano changed from the provisional MD to VS.
  35. 2009-08: Seven communes transferred from Pesaro e Urbino province to Rimini, and thus from Marche region to Emilia-Romagna: Casteldelci, Maiolo, Novafeltria, Pennabilli, San Leo, Sant'Agata Feltria, and Talamello.
  36. 2009-12-18: Five communes transferred from Milan province to Monza e Brianza: Busnago, Caponago, Cornate d'Adda, Lentate sul Seveso, and Roncello.
  37. 2015-01-01: Status of Bari, Bologna, Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Rome, and Turin changed from provinces to metropolitan cities.

Other names of subdivisions: 


  1. Abruzzi: Abruzos (Portuguese, Spanish); Abruzzen (German); Abruzzes (French); Abruzzo (variant)
  2. Apulia: Apulien (German); Pouilles, Pouille (French); Puglia (Italian, Portuguese); Puglie (Italian-variant)
  3. Basilicata: Basilicate (French); Lucania (obsolete)
  4. Calabria: Calabre (French); Calabrie (Italian-variant); Kalabrien (German)
  5. Campania: Campanha (Portuguese); Campanie (French); Kampanien (German)
  6. Emilia-Romagna: Emilia (Italian-obsolete); Emilia-Romaña (Spanish); Émilie-Romagne (French)
  7. Friuli-Venezia Giulia: Friaul-Venetien (German); Frioul-Vénétie Julienne (French); Friuli-Venecia Julia (Spanish)
  8. Lazio: Lacio (Spanish); Lácio (Portuguese); Latium (French, German, variant)
  9. Liguria: Ligurie (French); Ligurien (German)
  10. Lombardy: Lombardei (German); Lombardie (French); Lombardia (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  11. Marche: Marca (Spanish); Marches (French); Marches, The Marches (variant); Marken (German)
  12. Molise: Molisa (Spanish)
  13. Piedmont: Piamonte (Spanish); Piemont (German); Piémont (French); Piemonte (Italian, Portuguese)
  14. Sardinia: Cerdeña (Spanish); Sardaigne (French); Sardegna (Italian); Sardenha (Portuguese); Sardinië (Dutch); Sardinien (German)
  15. Sicily: Sicile (French); Sicilia (Italian, Spanish); Sicilië (Dutch); Sizilien (German); Сицилия (Russian)
  16. Trentino-Alto Adige: Trentin-Haut Adige (French); Trentino-Alto Adigio (Spanish); Trentino-South Tirol (variant); Trentino-Südtirol (German); Venezia Tridentina (obsolete)
  17. Tuscany: Toscana (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish); Toscane (French); Toskana (German)
  18. Umbria: Ombrie (French); Umbrien (German)
  19. Valle d'Aosta: Aostatal (German); Aosta Valley (variant); Val d'Aoste, Vallée d'Aoste (French)
  20. Veneto: Venecia (Spanish); Venetia (variant); Vénétie (French); Venetien (German); Venezia Euganea (obsolete)


  1. Agrigento: Agrigente (French); Girgenti (obsolete)
  2. Alessandria: Alejandría (Spanish); Alexandrie (French)
  3. Ancona: Ancône (French)
  4. Aosta: Aoste (French); Val d'Aosta, Valle d'Aosta (variant)
  5. Barletta-Andria-Trani: provincia dell'Ofanto (Italian-informal)
  6. Benevento: Bénévent (French)
  7. Bergamo: Bergame (French)
  8. Bologna: Bologne (French); Bolonha (Portuguese); Bolonia (Spanish)
  9. Bolzano: Bozen, Südtirol (German)
  10. Caserta: Caserte (French)
  11. Catania: Catane (French)
  12. Como: Côme (French)
  13. Cremona: Crémone (French)
  14. Cuneo: Coni (French)
  15. Ferrara: Ferrare (French)
  16. Florence: Firenze (Italian); Florença (Portuguese); Florencia (Spanish); Florens (Swedish); Florenz (German)
  17. Foggia: Capitanata (obsolete)
  18. Forli: Forlì (Italian)
  19. Genoa: Gênes (French); Genova (Italian); Gênova (Portuguese); Génova (Spanish); Genua (Dutch, German, Swedish)
  20. Gorizia: Görz (German)
  21. Imperia: Porto Maurizio (obsolete)
  22. L'Aquila: Aquila (variant)
  23. La Spezia: Spezia (variant)
  24. Latina: Littoria (obsolete)
  25. Livorno: Leghorn (obsolete); Liorna (Spanish); Livourne (French)
  26. Lucca: Lucques (French)
  27. Mantua: Mantoue (French); Mantova (Italian, Spanish, Swedish)
  28. Massa-Carrara: Apuania (obsolete); Massa-Carrare (French); Massa e Carrara (variant)
  29. Messina: Messine (French)
  30. Milan: Mailand (German); Milaan (Dutch); Milán (Spanish); Milano (Italian, Swedish); Milão (Portuguese)
  31. Modena: Modène (French); Módena (Spanish)
  32. Monza e Brianza: Monza e della Brianza (variant)
  33. Naples: Napels (Dutch); Nápoles (Portuguese, Spanish); Napoli (Italian); Neapel (German, Swedish)
  34. Novara: Novare (French)
  35. Padua: Padoue (French); Padova (Italian, Swedish)
  36. Palermo: Palerme (French)
  37. Parma: Parme (French)
  38. Pavia: Pavie (French)
  39. Perugia: Pérouse (French); Perúgia (Portuguese)
  40. Pesaro e Urbino: Pesaro-et-Urbino (French); Pesaro-Urbino (variant); Pésaro y Urbino (Spanish)
  41. Piacenza: Plaisance (French)
  42. Pisa: Pise (French)
  43. Ragusa: Raguse (French)
  44. Ravenna: Rávena (Spanish); Ravenne (French)
  45. Reggio di Calabria: Reggio Calabria (variant); Reggio de Calabre (French)
  46. Reggio nell'Emilia: Reggio d'Émilie (French)
  47. Rome: Rom (Danish, German, Swedish); Roma (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish); Rooma (Finnish); Рим (Russian)
  48. Salerno: Salerne (French)
  49. Siena: Sienne (French)
  50. Syracuse: Siracusa (Italian, Spanish, Swedish); Syrakus (German)
  51. Taranto: Ionio (obsolete); Tarent (German); Tarente (French)
  52. Trento: Trente (French); Trient (German)
  53. Treviso: Trévise (French)
  54. Trieste: Triest (German)
  55. Turin: Torino (Italian); Turijn (Dutch); Turim (Portuguese)
  56. Udine: Friuli (obsolete)
  57. Venice: Venecia (Spanish); Venedig (German, Swedish); Venetsia (Finnish); Veneza (Portuguese); Venezia (Italian); Venise (French); Венеция (Russian)
  58. Verbano-Cusio-Ossola: Verbania (variant)
  59. Vercelli: Verceil (French)
  60. Verona: Vérone (French)
  61. Vicenza: Vicence (French)
  62. Viterbo: Viterbe (French)

Population history:

Friuli-V.G.  977,2571,030,2311,226,1211,165,0001,213,5321,233,9841,216,3981,183,7641,218,985
Molise      319,807328,371320,916320,601313,660
Trentino-A.A.  669,029660,825728,604783,000841,886873,413934,731940,0161,029,475
Valle d'A.    94,140102,000109,150112,353117,208119,548126,806


  1. [1] Fifth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names. Vol. II. New York: United Nations, 1991.
  2. [2] Le Regioni in Cifre, edizione 1991. Istituto Nazionale di Statistica, Rome, 1991.
  3. [3] Il Leonardo: Almanacco di Educazione Populare. Ente Nazionale Biblioteche Popolari e Scolastiche, Rome, 1968.
  4. [4] I comuni della Sardegna  (the communes of Sardinia, retrieved 2003-11-28)
  5. [5] Targhe  (license plates, retrieved 2003-11-28)
  6. [6] "Cancellate 66 Province ", Metronews website (retrieved 2012-09-20).
  7. [7] "Ces réformes auxquelles Mario Monti a dû renoncer ", Le Figaro website (retrieved 2013-01-26).
  8. [8] 15° Censimento generale della popolazione e delle abitazioni : Struttura demografica della popolazione: Dati definitivi. Istituto Nazionale di Statistica (retrieved 2014-03-22).
  9. [9] "Delrio law in effect ", Italian government website (retrieved 2014-07-09).
  10. [10] Codici delle unità amministrative  (Codes of administrative units), Istituto nazionale di statistica (Istat). Using the link "Tutti i file," seven spreadsheets can be downloaded that include a list of the communes as of 2005-01-01 and a list of all changes in communes since 1991 (retrieved 2015-01-15).
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