A disunited history

The idea of Italy as a unified country, is a relatively new one. Two and a half thousand years ago the peninsula was filled with a host of tribes and city states, celtic in the north, Etruscan, Umbrian, and Latin in the centre, with a large number of Greek colonies in the south.

The Romans brought the whole territory under their control, but when the Roman Empire disappeared so did unity. Italy then broke into about fifteen separate countries, often warring with each other, with shifting borders, different cultures and languages, until they were united into the Kingdom of Italy in 1871.

The regions today

The Italian Constitution recognizes the existence of 20 regions, based on these old cultural and geographical divisions. Five of them, for example Trentino-Alto Adige, enjoy a special degree of autonomy from the Italian State. Even today, more than 150 years after unification, the differences between these regions are still quite marked, particularly when it comes to food.

The Italian regions are listed below in alphabetical order.


  • Regional capital: L’Aquila
  • Provinces: L’Aquila, Chieti, Pescara, Teramo

  • Regional capital: Potenza
  • Provinces: Matera, Potenza
Calabria Calabria

  • Regional capital: Catanzaro
  • Provinces: Catanzaro, Cosenza, Crotone, Vibo Valentia, CittĂ  metropolitana di Reggio Calabria

  • Regional capital: Napoli (Naples)
  • Provinces: Avellino, Benevento, Caserta, Napoli (Naples), Salerno
Emilia Romagna Emilia-Romagna

  • Regional capital: Bologna
  • Provinces: Bologna, Ferrara, Forlì-Cesena, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Ravenna, Reggio Emilia, Rimini
Friuli-Venezia Giulia

  • Regional capital: Trieste
  • Provinces: Gorizia, Pordenone, Trieste, Udine

  • Regional capital: Roma (Rome)
  • Provinces: Frosinone, Latina, Rieti, Roma (Rome), Viterbo

  • Regional capital: Genova (Genoa)
  • Provinces: Genova (Genoa), Imperia, La Spezia, Savona
Lombardia (Lombardy)

  • Regional capital: Milano (Milan)
  • Provinces: Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Lodi, Mantova (Mantua), Milano (Milan), Monza e Brianza, Pavia, Sondrio, Varese

  • Regional capital: Ancona
  • Provinces: Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Macerata, Pesaro e Urbino

  • Regional capital: Campobasso
  • Provinces: Campobasso, Isernia
Piemonte (Piedmont)

  • Regional capital: Torino (Turin)
  • Provinces: Alessandria, Asti, Biella, Cuneo, Novara, Torino (Turin), Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Vercelli
Puglia Puglia

  • Regional capital: Bari
  • Provinces: Bari, Barletta-Andria-Trani, Brindisi, Foggia, Lecce, Taranto
Sardegna (Sardinia()

  • Regional capital: Cagliari
  • Provinces: Cagliari, Sassari, Olbia-Tempio, Oristano, Medio-Campidano, Carbonia-Iglesias, Ogliastra
Sicilia (Sicily)

  • Regional capital: Palermo
  • Provinces: Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Catania, Enna, Messina, Ragusa, Palermo, Siracusa, Trapani
TUSCANY Toscana (Tuscany)

  • Regional capital: Firenze (Florence)
  • Provinces: Firenze (Florence), Arezzo, Grosseto, Livorno (Leghorn), Lucca, Massa e Carrara, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato, Siena
Trentino-Alto Adige

  • Regional capital: Trento (Trent)
  • Provinces: Bolzano, Trento (Trent)
Umbria Umbria

  • Regional capital: Perugia
  • Provinces: Perugia, Terni
Valle d’Aosta

  • Regional capital: Aosta
  • Provinces:

  • Regional capital: Venezia (Venice)
  • Provinces: Belluno, Padova, Rovigo, Treviso, Venezia (Venice), Verona, Vicenza

Leave a Reply