Provinces of Italy

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Provinces of Italy
Province d'Italia  (Italian)
Category Regionalised unitary state
Location Italian Republic
Populations81,415 (Province of Isernia) – 4,231,451 (Metropolitan City of Rome Capital)
Areas212.50 km2 (82.05 sq mi) (Province of Trieste) –
7,691.75 km2 (2,969.80 sq mi) (Province of Sassari)
Provinces of Italy (grey borders), within Regions (solid borders) Italian regions provinces.svg
Provinces of Italy (grey borders), within Regions (solid borders)

The provinces of Italy (Italian : province d'Italia) are the second-level administrative divisions of the Italian Republic, on an intermediate level between a municipality ( comune ) and a region (regione). Since 2015, provinces have been classified as "institutional bodies of second level". [1]


There are currently 107 institutional bodies of second level in Italy, including 80 ordinary provinces, 2 autonomous provinces, 4 regional decentralization entities, 6 free municipal consortia, and 14 metropolitan cities, as well as the Aosta Valley region (which also exercises the powers of a province).

Italian provinces (with the exception of the current Sardinian provinces) correspond to the NUTS 3 regions. [2]


A province of the Italian Republic is composed of many municipalities (comune). Usually several provinces together form a region; the region of Aosta Valley is the sole exception—it is not subdivided into provinces, and provincial functions are exercised by the region.

The three main functions devolved to provinces are:

The number of provinces in Italy has been steadily growing in recent years, as many new ones are carved out of older ones. Usually, the province's name is the same as that of its capital city.

According to the 2014 reform, each province is headed by a President (or Commissioner) assisted by a legislative body, the Provincial Council, and an executive body, the Provincial Executive. President (Commissioner) and members of Council are elected together by mayors and city councilors of each municipality of the province. The Executive is chaired by the President (Commissioner) who appoint others members, called assessori . Since 2015, the President (Commissioner) and other members of the council will not receive a salary. [3]

In each province, there is also a Prefect ( prefetto ), a representative of the central government who heads an agency called prefettura-ufficio territoriale del governo. The Questor (questore) is the head of State Police ( Polizia di Stato ) in the province and his office is called questura. There is also a provincial police force depending from local government, called provincial police (polizia provinciale).

The South Tyrol and Trentino are autonomous provinces: unlike all other provinces they have the same legislative powers as regions and are not subordinated to Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, the region they are part of.

List of provinces


Note: the data is updated as of 1 January 2021

TypeProvinceCapital Code RegionMacroregion
Population (2021) [4]
Pop. density
(p/km²) [4]
Comuni [4] Established
F Agrigento Agrigento AG Sicily Insular 416,1813,052.82 km2
(1,178.70 sq mi)
O Alessandria Alessandria AL Piedmont North-West 409,3923,558.78 km2
(1,374.05 sq mi)
O Ancona Ancona AN Marche Centre 464,4191,963.21 km2
(758.00 sq mi)
D Aosta Aosta AO Aosta Valley North-West124,0893,260.85 km2
(1,259.02 sq mi)
O Arezzo Arezzo AR Tuscany Centre336,5013,232.99 km2
(1,248.26 sq mi)
O Ascoli Piceno Ascoli Piceno APMarcheCentre203,4251,228.19 km2
(474.21 sq mi)
O Asti Asti ATPiedmontNorth-West209,3901,510.17 km2
(583.08 sq mi)
O Avellino Avellino AV Campania South 402,9292,805.96 km2
(1,083.39 sq mi)
M Bari Bari BA Apulia South1,230,1583,862.73 km2
(1,491.41 sq mi)
O Barletta-Andria-Trani Barletta, Andria, Trani BTApuliaSouth381,0911,542.93 km2
(595.73 sq mi)
O Belluno Belluno BL Veneto North-East 199,7043,609.98 km2
(1,393.82 sq mi)
O Benevento Benevento BNCampaniaSouth266,7162,080.37 km2
(803.24 sq mi)
O Bergamo Bergamo BG Lombardy North-West1,103,5562,754.86 km2
(1,063.66 sq mi)
O Biella Biella BIPiedmontNorth-West170,724913.27 km2
(352.62 sq mi)
M Bologna Bologna BO Emilia-Romagna North-East1,015,6083,702.25 km2
(1,429.45 sq mi)
O Brescia Brescia BSLombardyNorth-West1,255,7094,785.48 km2
(1,847.68 sq mi)
O Brindisi Brindisi BRApuliaSouth381,9461,861.33 km2
(718.66 sq mi)
M Cagliari Cagliari CA Sardinia Insular421,4881,248.66 km2
(482.11 sq mi)
F Caltanissetta Caltanissetta CLSicilyInsular253,6882,138.47 km2
(825.67 sq mi)
O Campobasso Campobasso CB Molise South212,8792,925.28 km2
(1,129.46 sq mi)
O Caserta Caserta CECampaniaSouth901,9032,651.28 km2
(1,023.66 sq mi)
M Catania Catania CTSicilyInsular1,074,0893,573.51 km2
(1,379.74 sq mi)
O Catanzaro Catanzaro CZ Calabria South344,4392,415.41 km2
(932.60 sq mi)
O Chieti Chieti CH Abruzzo South375,2152,599.53 km2
(1,003.68 sq mi)
O Como Como COLombardyNorth-West596,4561,279.02 km2
(493.83 sq mi)
O Cosenza Cosenza CSCalabriaSouth676,1196,709.62 km2
(2,590.60 sq mi)
O Cremona Cremona CRLombardyNorth-West352,2421,770.41 km2
(683.56 sq mi)
O Crotone Crotone KRCalabriaSouth164,0591,735.65 km2
(670.14 sq mi)
O Cuneo Cuneo CNPiedmontNorth-West581,7986,894.83 km2
(2,662.11 sq mi)
F Enna Enna ENSicilyInsular157,6902,574.67 km2
(994.09 sq mi)
O Fermo Fermo FMMarcheCentre169,710862.75 km2
(333.11 sq mi)
O Ferrara Ferrara FEEmilia-RomagnaNorth-East342,0612,627.38 km2
(1,014.44 sq mi)
M Florence Florence FITuscanyCentre998,4313,513.65 km2
(1,356.63 sq mi)
O Foggia Foggia FGApuliaSouth602,3947,007.33 km2
(2,705.55 sq mi)
O Forlì-Cesena Forlì FCEmilia-RomagnaNorth-East392,6422,378.32 km2
(918.27 sq mi)
O Frosinone Frosinone FR Lazio Centre472,5593,246.96 km2
(1,253.66 sq mi)
M Genoa Genoa GE Liguria North-West823,6121,833.75 km2
(708.01 sq mi)
R Gorizia Gorizia GO Friuli-Venezia Giulia North-East139,070475.40 km2
(183.55 sq mi)
O Grosseto Grosseto GRTuscanyCentre217,8464,503.17 km2
(1,738.68 sq mi)
O Imperia Imperia IMLiguriaNorth-West209,2441,154.76 km2
(445.86 sq mi)
O Isernia Isernia ISMoliseSouth81,4151,535.16 km2
(592.73 sq mi)
O L'Aquila L'Aquila AQAbruzzoSouth290,8115,047.34 km2
(1,948.79 sq mi)
O La Spezia La Spezia SPLiguriaNorth-West215,887881.38 km2
(340.30 sq mi)
O Latina Latina LTLazioCentre566,2242,256.14 km2
(871.10 sq mi)
O Lecce Lecce LEApuliaSouth776,2302,798.88 km2
(1,080.65 sq mi)
O Lecco Lecco LCLombardyNorth-West333,569805.60 km2
(311.04 sq mi)
O Livorno Livorno LITuscanyCentre328,9961,213.52 km2
(468.54 sq mi)
O Lodi Lodi LOLombardyNorth-West227,343782.97 km2
(302.31 sq mi)
O Lucca Lucca LUTuscanyCentre383,9571,774.04 km2
(684.96 sq mi)
O Macerata Macerata MCMarcheCentre307,4102,779.31 km2
(1,073.10 sq mi)
O Mantua Mantua MNLombardyNorth-West406,0612,341.35 km2
(904.00 sq mi)
O Massa and Carrara Massa MSTuscanyCentre189,8361,154.60 km2
(445.79 sq mi)
O Matera Matera MT Basilicata South192,6403,478.84 km2
(1,343.19 sq mi)
M Messina Messina MESicilyInsular603,9803,266.07 km2
(1,261.04 sq mi)
M Milan Milan MILombardyNorth-West3,241,8131,575.49 km2
(608.30 sq mi)
O Modena Modena MOEmilia-RomagnaNorth-East703,6962,687.88 km2
(1,037.80 sq mi)
O Monza and Brianza Monza MBLombardyNorth-West870,113405.41 km2
(156.53 sq mi)
M Naples Naples NACampaniaSouth2,986,7451,178.94 km2
(455.19 sq mi)
O Novara Novara NOPiedmontNorth-West362,9251,340.25 km2
(517.47 sq mi)
O Nuoro Nuoro NUSardiniaInsular201,5175,637.97 km2
(2,176.83 sq mi)
O Oristano Oristano ORSardiniaInsular152,4182,990.41 km2
(1,154.60 sq mi)
O Padua Padua PDVenetoNorth-East932,6292,144.12 km2
(827.85 sq mi)
M Palermo Palermo PASicilyInsular1,208,8195,009.21 km2
(1,934.07 sq mi)
O Parma Parma PREmilia-RomagnaNorth-East449,6283,447.40 km2
(1,331.05 sq mi)
O Pavia Pavia PVLombardyNorth-West535,8012,968.59 km2
(1,146.18 sq mi)
O Perugia Perugia PG Umbria Centre645,5066,336.99 km2
(2,446.73 sq mi)
O Pesaro and Urbino Pesaro PUMarcheCentre353,2722,567.71 km2
(991.40 sq mi)
O Pescara Pescara PEAbruzzoSouth313,8821,230.29 km2
(475.02 sq mi)
O Piacenza Piacenza PCEmilia-RomagnaNorth-East283,7422,585.76 km2
(998.37 sq mi)
O Pisa Pisa PITuscanyCentre417,9832,444.82 km2
(943.95 sq mi)
O Pistoia Pistoia PTTuscanyCentre290,245964.16 km2
(372.26 sq mi)
R Pordenone Pordenone PNFriuli-Venezia GiuliaNorth-East310,6342,275.35 km2
(878.52 sq mi)
O Potenza Potenza PZBasilicataSouth352,4906,594.28 km2
(2,546.07 sq mi)
O Prato Prato POTuscanyCentre265,269365.66 km2
(141.18 sq mi)
F Ragusa Ragusa RGSicilyInsular314,9101,623.91 km2
(627.00 sq mi)
O Ravenna Ravenna RAEmilia-RomagnaNorth-East386,6431,859.39 km2
(717.91 sq mi)
M Reggio Calabria Reggio Calabria RCCalabriaSouth523,7913,210.31 km2
(1,239.51 sq mi)
O Reggio Emilia Reggio Emilia REEmilia-RomagnaNorth-East527,1402,291.15 km2
(884.62 sq mi)
O Rieti Rieti RILazioCentre151,3352,750.24 km2
(1,061.87 sq mi)
O Rimini Rimini RNEmilia-RomagnaNorth-East337,777865.01 km2
(333.98 sq mi)
M Rome Rome RMLazioCentre4,231,4515,363.22 km2
(2,070.75 sq mi)
O Rovigo Rovigo ROVenetoNorth-East230,7631,819.86 km2
(702.65 sq mi)
O Salerno Salerno SACampaniaSouth1,065,9674,954.05 km2
(1,912.77 sq mi)
O Sassari Sassari SSSardiniaInsular476,3577,691.75 km2
(2,969.80 sq mi)
O Savona Savona SVLiguriaNorth-West269,7521,546.27 km2
(597.02 sq mi)
O Siena Siena SITuscanyCentre263,8013,820.81 km2
(1,475.22 sq mi)
O Sondrio Sondrio SOLombardyNorth-West178,7983,195.68 km2
(1,233.86 sq mi)
O South Sardinia Carbonia SUSardiniaInsular338,2646,530.67 km2
(2,521.51 sq mi)
A South Tyrol Bolzano BZ Trentino-South Tyrol North-East534,9127,397.86 km2
(2,856.33 sq mi)
F Syracuse Syracuse SRSicilyInsular386,0712,124.19 km2
(820.15 sq mi)
O Taranto Taranto TAApuliaSouth561,9582,467.33 km2
(952.64 sq mi)
O Teramo Teramo TEAbruzzoSouth301,1041,954.34 km2
(754.57 sq mi)
O Terni Terni TRUmbriaCentre219,9462,127.23 km2
(821.33 sq mi)
F Trapani Trapani TPSicilyInsular418,2772,469.70 km2
(953.56 sq mi)
A Trento Trento TNTrentino-South TyrolNorth-East542,1666,206.87 km2
(2,396.49 sq mi)
O Treviso Treviso TVVenetoNorth-East880,4172,479.80 km2
(957.46 sq mi)
R Trieste Trieste TSFriuli-Venezia GiuliaNorth-East230,689212.50 km2
(82.05 sq mi)
M Turin Turin TOPiedmontNorth-West2,219,2066,826.91 km2
(2,635.88 sq mi)
R Udine Udine UDFriuli-Venezia GiuliaNorth-East521,1174,969.23 km2
(1,918.63 sq mi)
O Varese Varese VALombardyNorth-West880,0931,198.24 km2
(462.64 sq mi)
M Venice Venice VEVenetoNorth-East843,5452,472.88 km2
(954.78 sq mi)
O Verbano-Cusio-Ossola Verbania VBPiedmontNorth-West154,9262,260.89 km2
(872.93 sq mi)
O Vercelli Vercelli VCPiedmontNorth-West166,5842,081.60 km2
(803.71 sq mi)
O Verona Verona VRVenetoNorth-East927,8103,096.28 km2
(1,195.48 sq mi)
O Vibo Valentia Vibo Valentia VVCalabriaSouth152,1931,150.62 km2
(444.26 sq mi)
O Vicenza Vicenza VIVenetoNorth-East854,9622,722.45 km2
(1,051.14 sq mi)
O Viterbo Viterbo VTLazioCentre308,8303,615.16 km2
(1,395.82 sq mi)
TotalItaly59,236,213 [5] 302,068.26 km2
(116,629.21 sq mi) [5]
196 [5] 7,904 [5]


Italian provinces by population (2011).png
Italian provinces by population
Italian provinces by population density, 2011.png
Italian provinces by population density



National unification

In 1861, at the birth of the Kingdom of Italy, there were 59 provinces. However, at that time the national territory was smaller than the current one: regions of Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Lazio were not included in the kingdom.

In 1866, following the Third Independence War, territories of Veneto, Friuli and Mantua were annexed. There were therefore nine more provinces: Belluno, Mantua, Padua, Rovigo, Treviso, Venice, Verona, Vicenza and Udine, all previously part of the Austrian Empire. Eventually, in 1870, following the union of Rome and its province from the Papal States, the provinces rose in number to 69.

After the World War I, new territories were annexed to Italy. The province of Trento was created in 1923. Provinces of La Spezia and Trieste in 1923, while Ionio in 1924. In 1924 the new provinces of Fiume, Pola, and Zara were created, increasing the total number of provinces in Italy to 76.

Between the two World Wars

Provinces of Italy in 1942 during the World War II Kingdom of Italy 1942 with provinces.svg
Provinces of Italy in 1942 during the World War II

In 1927, following a Royal charter, [Note 1] a general province rearrangement took place. 17 new provinces were created (Aosta, Vercelli, Varese, Savona, Bolzano, Gorizia, Pistoia, Pescara, Rieti, Terni, Viterbo, Frosinone, Brindisi, Matera, Ragusa, Castrogiovanni, Nuoro) and the province of Caserta was suppressed. In the same year the institution of circondari, sub-provincial wards created before the unification, was abolished.

Province of Littoria (Latina) was created in 1934, and the Province of Asti in 1935.

Following the annexation of a part of Yugoslavia in 1941, during the World War II, the province of Zara was enlarged and joined the Governatorate of Dalmatia (comprising the province of Zara, and the new provinces of Spalato, and Cattaro), while in the occupied central part of the present-day Slovenia the new province of Ljubljana was created. This lasted only until 1945, when Yugoslavia regained the lost territories after the end of the World War II.

After World War II

In 1945, after the end of the World War II, the province of Aosta changed its name to Aosta Valley and Littoria to Latina; the new province of Caserta was recreated.

With the Paris Peace Treaties, signed on 10 February 1947, Italy lost the provinces of Fiume, Pola and Zara, and part of the provinces of Trieste and Gorizia.

Moreover, the province of Trieste was occupied by United States and British forces. The Italian Republic therefore had 91 provinces at its birth. The province of Ionio was renamed as Taranto in 1951, and in 1954 the province of Trieste was returned to Italy.

Recent history

The Province of Pordenone was created in 1968, the province of Isernia in 1970, and the Province of Oristano in 1974. In a reorganization in 1992 eight provinces were created: Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Biella, Lecco, Lodi, Rimini, Prato, Crotone, and Vibo Valentia, while Forlì was renamed as Forlì-Cesena.

Four new provinces were created in Sardinia in 2001, with effect from 2005: Olbia-Tempio, Ogliastra, Medio Campidano and Carbonia-Iglesias. In 2004 three further provinces were created: Monza and Brianza, Fermo, and Barletta-Andria-Trani, making a total of 110 provinces.

Number of provinces

In May 2012, a referendum abolished the eight provinces of Sardinia, and this suppression was to take effect on 1 March 2013. On 6 July 2012, new plans were published to reduce the number of provinces by around half. [13] In January 2014 the Sardinian Regional Administrative Court declared "unconstitutional" the abolition of the Sardinian provinces, which occurred in 2013.

In 2014 the Delrio Law [14] transformed the Provinces of Italy in a reduced number of broader administrative entities. [15]

In 2014 the Friuli Venezia Giulia of Debora Serracchiani was the first Italian region to pass a law for abolishing its provinces, while implementing the national reform in the local administrative level. [15] The Friuli region has multiplied four provinces in 18 unions of the Italian administrative unit called Comune . [16] After rejection of the 2016 Italian constitutional referendum, the Provinces of Italy were still kept alive under provisions of the Delrio Constitutional Law to be merged in a smaller number of union of provinces. [17]

Former provinces

Historical abolished provinces

Provinces of Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia

Provinces established during World War II

Colonial provinces

Trend in number of provinces from 1861 to 2010 Provinces of Italy trend.png
Trend in number of provinces from 1861 to 2010

Theoretical provinces


Provinces as proposed by the Monti Cabinet in 2012 ITALIAN PROVINCES.png
Provinces as proposed by the Monti Cabinet in 2012

Provinces are often deemed useless, and many proposals have been made in recent years to eliminate them. [19] [20] [21] However, the difficulty of changing the constitution and the opposition of groups of politicians and citizens halted any proposal of reform. [22] [23]

In 2013, during his speech to the Chamber of Deputies, newly appointed Prime Minister Enrico Letta announced that a revision of the second part of the constitution was needed, in order to change the bicameral parliamentary system and to abolish the provinces. The proposal, presented during the Renzi premiership, was rejected in the constitutional referendum held in December 2016.

See also


  1. Regio Decreto Legislativo n. 1/1927, 3 January 1927, "Riordinamento delle circoscrizioni provinciali"

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The Regiment "Lancieri di Milano" (7th) is an inactive cavalry regiment of the Italian Army.


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