Italy consists of 20 regions. All 20 regions of Italy at a glance:
- Aosta Valley (in italian: Valle d’Aosta)
- Apulia (in italian: Puglia)
- Friuli Venezia Giulia
- Lombardy (in italian: Lombardia)
- Piedmont (in italian: Piemonte)
- Sardinia (in italian: Sardegna)
- Sicily (in italian: Sicilia)
- Tuscany (in italian: Toscana)
- Trentino-South Tyrol (in italian/german: Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol)
The regions are the highest administrative divisions in Italy. They are, so to speak, the federal states of Italy. The regions of Italy, in turn, consist of provinces and metropolitan cities.
On this page you can find all the important information about the regions of Italy.
Table of contents
The regions of Italy in detail
Each region of Italy has a capital and some peculiarities. More information about it shows the following overview of all regions of Italy.
Abruzzo is centrally located in Italy and lies on the Adriatic Sea. The capital of the region is L’Aquila. Abruzzo is home to the highest mountain in mainland Italy, which is outside the Alps. Namely, the 2,912 meter high Corno Grande, which is the highest elevation in the mountain massif Gran Sasso d’Italia. The landscape of the region is characterized by the Apennine Mountains, the rolling hills and the 150 kilometers long Adriatic coast.
Aosta Valley (in italian: Valle d’Aosta)
The Valle d’Aosta region is located in the very northwest of Italy in the Alps. It is the smallest of the Italian regions both in terms of area and population. Its capital is Aosta. Since the border between Italy and France is not clearly defined, it is also not definitively clear what the highest mountain in the Valle d’Aosta region is. However, it is certain that the highest mountain of the Valle d’Aosta region is also the highest mountain of the whole Italy. Depending on the demarcation, it is either the 4,784-meter Mont Blanc de Courmayeur or the 4,810-meter Mont Blanc, which is also the highest mountain in the Alps. In addition to Italian, French is also an official language in the Aosta Valley region.
Apulia (in italian: Puglia)
Apulia is the region in the extreme southeast of Italy. The peninsula of Salento, about 100 kilometers long, is the heel of the Italian boot, so to speak. The capital of Apulia is Bari. The highest mountain in the region is Monte Cornacchia, which is 1,151 meters high. Puglia is very famous for its rich red wines. For example, Primitivo and Negroamaro come from the region. Also one of the most famous castles of Italy, Castel del Monte, is located in Apulia. It is less than 100 kilometers from Puglia to the coast of Albania.
The Basilicata region is located in southern Italy between Calabria and Puglia. The capital of the region is Potenza. Basilicata has a west coast facing the Tyrrhenian Sea and a south coast facing the Ionian Sea. Both are lower seas of the Mediterranean. The highest elevation in the region is on the Serra Dolcedorme mountain, although its 2,267-meter peak is already in Calabria. The largest national park in Italy is partly located in Basilicata. It is called Pollino.
Calabria is the region that lies on the Italian mainland in the very south. It is, so to speak, the tip of the boot of Italy. Its capital is Catanzaro. However, the largest city in the region is Reggio Calabria. Calabria, like Basilicata, has coasts facing the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Ionian Sea. The landscape of the region is very mountainous. The highest mountain is Serra Dolcedorme, which is 2,267 meters high, as mentioned above. From Calabria comes the ‘Ndrangheta, which today is considered the most powerful mafia organization in Europe. Part of the largest Italian national park Pollino is located in Calabria.
Campania is located in southern Italy on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea and is the most populous region of Italy after Lombardy. Its capital is Naples (in italian: Napoli), which is the third largest city in Italy after Rome and Milan. Campania is home to both the famous volcano Vesuvius, which once buried the city of Pompeii under its ashes, and the beautiful Amalfi Coast. The highest elevation of the region is on Monte Miletto, whose 2,050-meter peak, however, is already in the Molise region. In addition, the second largest national park in Italy belongs to Campania. Namely the Cilento. Under the region slumbers a supervolcano, the so-called Phlegraean Fields.
The Emilia-Romagna region is located in northern Italy and extends to the Adriatic Sea in the east and almost to the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west. The capital of the region is Bologna, which is the seventh largest city in Italy. Within the region of Emilia-Romagna lies an exclave of the region of Tuscany, namely Ca’ Raffaelo. The region also borders the small country of San Marino. The highest mountain in Emilia-Romagna is the 2,165 meter high Monte Cimone in the Apennines.
Friuli Venezia Giulia
The region that lies in the very northeast of Italy is Friuli Venezia Giulia. It has external borders with Austria and Slovenia. The capital of the region is Trieste. Directly on the border with Austria is the highest mountain in the region, namely Monte Coglians. The mountain is 2,780 meters high and is called Hohe Warte in German. During the First World War, the region was the scene of some of the greatest fighting – the so-called Isonzo Battles – between the Kingdom of Italy and the German Empire. A minority in Friuli Venezia Giulia speaks German.
The region of Lazio is located on the west coast of Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its capital is Rome (in italian: Roma). Rome, with its nearly 3 million inhabitants, is also the capital of the whole of Italy. The Tiber River, which also flows through Rome, is the largest river in the region. At its mouth into the Mediterranean Sea is Ostia, which was the port city of ancient Rome. The highest mountain in Lazio is Monte Gorzano. It is 2,458 meters high. Within Rome, and therefore the region of Lazio, is the Vatican. Thus, Lazio has an external border.
The region of Liguria is located in the northwest of Italy. It has an external border with France and a long coastline with the Ligurian Sea, which is a part of the Mediterranean Sea. The capital of the region is Genova. Liguria is divided into two areas. Namely, the Riviera di Ponente between Genoa and Ventimiglia on the border with France and the Riviera di Levante east of Genoa. The highest mountain in the region is Monte Saccarello, which is 2,201 meters high. The Mediterranean Whale Sanctuary begins off the coast of Liguria.
Lombardy (in italian: Lombardia)
Lombardy is the most populous region of Italy with almost 10 million inhabitants. Its capital is Milan (in italian: Milano), which is the second largest city in Italy with 1.4 million inhabitants. The landscape of Lombardy is very contrasting. In the north it is characterized by the high mountains of the Alps and in the south by the Po Valley. The large pre-Alpine lakes are also partly located in Lombardy. The highest mountain in the region is the 3,996 meter high Piz Zupò.
The Marche region is located on the east coast of central Italy on the Adriatic Sea. Its capital is Ancona. The highest mountain in the region is Monte Vettore, which is 2,476 meters high. A very important place of pilgrimage for fellow Catholics is located in Marche. It is called Loreto. The name of the Loreto Mountains in Constance and in Freiburg goes back to this place. The place is so holy because it is said that Mary grew up there. Compared to the rest of Italy, the Marche region is less developed for tourism.
The Molise region is the second smallest region of Italy after Aosta Valley, both in terms of area and population. Its capital is Campobasso. The highest mountain in the region is the above-mentioned 2,050-meter Monte Miletto. Molise is also comparatively undeveloped for tourism and is struggling with the exodus of its inhabitants.
Piedmont (in italian: Piemonte)
The Piedmont region is located in the northwest of Italy and has external borders with France and Switzerland. Its capital is Turin (in italian: Torino). Piedmont is the largest region of mainland Italy in terms of area, covering about 25,000 square kilometers. Of all the regions in Italy, only Sicily is larger. The highest mountain in Piedmont is the so-called Grenzgipfel in the Monte Rosa massif. It is 4,618 meters high. Piedmont is home to the imposing Sacra di San Michele monastery complex.
Sardinia (in italian: Sardegna)
Sardinia is not only one of the regions of Italy, but also the second largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily. The capital of the region is Cagliari. Sardinia is located about 200 kilometers from the Italian mainland. Only 12 kilometers separate the island from its neighbor, French Corsica. The highest mountain in Sardinia is Punta La Marmora, which is 1,834 meters high.
Sicily (in italian: Sicilia)
The region of Sicily is the largest region in Italy in terms of area and also the largest island in the Mediterranean. Its capital is Palermo. On the eastern side of the island lies the active volcano Etna. With a height of about 3,300 meters, it is the highest mountain in the region of Sicily and also in the whole of Italy outside the Alps. Its appearance clearly characterizes the image of Sicily. Besides Etna, Stromboli on the island of the same name also belongs to the region of Sicily. Stromboli is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The Sicilian Mafia, the so-called Cosa Nostra, is also well known. Not least through the The Godfather movie series.
Trentino-South Tyrol (in italian: Trentino-Alto Adige)
The Trentino-South Tyrol region is the northernmost region of Italy. Besides Italian, German is also an official language here. The region has external borders with Austria and Switzerland. And its capital is Trento. The landscape of Trentino-South Tyrol is strongly influenced by the Alps. In particular, the striking mountain range of the Italian Dolomites stands out here. The highest mountain in the region is the Ortler. It is 3,905 meters high.
Tuscany (in italian: Toscana)
Pope Boniface XIII must have once said that Tuscany is the quintessence of the world. And that may be true. The versatility of the landscape of this region is surpassed only by its grace, and anyone who listens to the evening breeze in the rolling hills and takes in the scent of the maquis will know that they will not want to leave here. Tuscany is located on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago with picturesque Elba are scattered in the blue glitter and here the world seems to be in order. The capital of the region is Florence (in italian: Firenze), rich in cultural treasures. The highest mountain in the Tuscany region is Monte Prado, 2,054 meters high.
The region of Umbria is one of the few regions of Italy that has no access to the Mediterranean Sea. In fact, Umbria is the only region of Italy that has neither access to the sea nor an external border. It is therefore the only region that is completely surrounded by other Italian regions. Umbria is also pretty much in the center of the whole Italy and its capital is Perugia. On the territory of the region lies Lake Trasimeno, which is the fourth largest lake in Italy after the large pre-Alpine lakes. Thus, it is also the largest lake of the Italian peninsula. The highest mountain in Umbria is the Cima del Redentore. It is 2,448 meters high and is located in the Sibillini Mountains.
The Veneto region is located in the northeast of Italy and has an external border with Austria. The capital of Veneto is Venice (in italian: Venezia). The highest mountain in the region is the 3,343-meter-high Marmolata, which lies on the border with neighboring Trentino-South Tyrol region. On the Adriatic coast of Veneto are the lagoons, where Venice is located. In addition to the Alps and the lagoons, the Po Valley and the Euganean Hills are characteristic of the region. The latter are a group of hills of volcanic origin in the middle of the Po Valley.
Table with the most important information
The following table contains the detailed information about each region of Italy as a convenient overview.
|Region||Italian name||Capital||Provinces and metropolitan cities||Population||Area||Bordering countries|
|Abruzzo||Abruzzo||L’Aquila||L’Aquila, Teramo, Chieti, Pescara||1.3 million||11,000 km²||–|
|Aosta Valley||Valle d’Aosta||Aosta||–||0.1 million||3,000 km²||France, Switzerland|
|Apulia||Puglia||Bari||Foggia, Bari, Brindisi, Tarent, Lecce, Barletta-Andria-Trani||4.1 million||19,000 km²||–|
|Basilicata||Basilicata||Potenza||Potenza, Matera||0.6 million||10,000 km²||–|
|Calabria||Calabria||Catanzaro||Catanzaro, Cosenza, Crotone, Reggio Calabria, Vibo Valentia||2.0 million||15,000 km²||–|
|Campania||Campania||Naples (Napoli)||Avellino, Bonevento, Caserta, Naples, Salerno||5.8 million||14,000 km²||–|
|Emilia-Romagna||Emilia-Romagna||Bologna||Bologna, Ferrara, Forli-Cesena, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Ravenna, Reggio Emilia, Rimini||4.3 million||22,000 km²||San Marino|
|Friuli Venzia Giulia||Friuli-Venzia Giulia||Trieste||–||1.2 million||8,000 km²||Austria, Slovenia|
|Lazio||Lazio||Rome (Roma)||Frosinone, Latina, Rieti, Rome, Viterbo||5.6 million||17,000 km²||Vatican City|
|Liguria||Liguria||Genova||Genova, Imperia, La Spezia, Savona||1.6 million||5,000 km²||France|
|Lombardy||Lombardia||Milan (Milano)||Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Lodi, Mailand, Mantua, Monza und Brianza, Pavia, Sondrio, Varese||9.7 million||24,000 km²||Switzerland|
|Marche||Marche||Ancona||Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Macerata, Pesaro und Urbino||1.6 million||10,000 km²||San Marino|
|Molise||Molise||Campobasso||Campobasso, Isernia||0.3 million||4,000 km²||–|
|Piedmont||Piemonte||Turin (Torino)||Alessandria, Asti, Biella, Cuneo, Novara, Turin, Varbano-Cusia-Ossola, Vercelli||4.4 million||25,000 km²||France, Switzerland|
|Sardinia||Sardegna||Cagliari||Cagliari, Nuoro, Oristano, Sassari, Sud Sardegna||1.7 million||24,000 km²||–|
|Sicily||Sicilia||Palermo||Agrigent, Caltanissetta, Catania, Enna, Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Syrakus, Trapani||5.0 million||26,000 km²||–|
|Trentino-South Tyrol||Trentino-Alto Adige||Trient||Bozen, Trient||1.0 million||14,000 km²||Austria, Switzerland|
|Tuscany||Toscana||Florence (Firenze)||Arezzo, Florence, Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa-Carrara, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato, Siena||3.7 million||23,000 km²||–|
|Umbria||Umbria||Perugia||Perugia, Terni||0.9 million||8,000 km²||–|
|Veneto||Veneto||Venice (Venezia)||Belluno, Padua, Rovigo, Treviso, Venice, Verona, Vicenza||4.9 million||18,000 km²||Austria|
|Italy total||Italia||Rome||–||approx. 60 million||300,000 km²||France, Austria, San Marino, Switzerland, Slovenia, Vatican City|
The regions of the Mezzogiorno
The term Mezzogiorno refers to the south of Italy. The Mezzogiorno consists of the following Italian provinces:
Historically, these 6 regions were part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. This kingdom existed until the unification of Italy in 1861. Sometimes the region of Sardinia is also assigned to the Mezzogiorno, because the economic situation in the region is comparable to that of southern Italy. For characteristic of Italy is that there are great differences in wealth between the regions in the north (rich) and the regions in the south (less rich).
Deeper insights into the regions of Italy
Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions of Italy. In particular, the Maremma Nature Park on the coast of the province of Grosseto has a very special magic. You can find there wild animals, untouched nature and beautiful hiking trails. More about this on the Maremma page.
15 of the 20 regions of Italy are located on the Mediterranean Sea – either the Adriatic Sea, the Ionian Sea, the Ligurian Sea or the Tyrrhenian Sea. Here is more information about all the countries that are located on the Mediterranean Sea: Mediterranean Countries Page
Other regions and federal states
Even more information about the regions and states of other countries can be found on the following pages: