Provinces of Italy

The provinces (Italian province, singular provincia) are the average levels of government in Italy. 19 of Italy's 20 regions are divided into a total of 109 provinces. In Valle d'Aosta region takes over the tasks of the province.


The Italian provinces are decentralized administrative districts of the central government in Rome and in addition also with independent authorities assigned by the Italian Constitution own skills. Comparable to the Italian provinces are rudimentary with German administrative districts (where they are established in their respective countries, the role of higher-level government takes over in this decentralized management area in Italy but in most cases the central government in Rome, not the regional government ), as well as with the German city - or counties. In the autonomous region of Sicily is the regional administrative units called provinces and are directly subordinated to the regional government.

State Administration Unit

The province as a decentralized state administration unit is facing detached from the central government Prefect, who is also responsible for supervising the activities of the self-governing bodies of the province and the municipalities in each province. He is representative of the Government and directly responsible for public safety and the efficient management work of the government offices in the province. Many Italian ministries have major peripheral offices in the provinces, but there is lately an ever stronger tendency these to settle at the regional level and, regardless of the province's border to open more branches as needed (eg, the Ministry of Education with the new " direzioni regionali " that have replaced the old " provveditorati " [ school authorities ] at the provincial level ). To that extent, the regions are in addition to their traditional role as autonomous local authorities and administrative districts of the government in Rome. These two aspects, local authority and county are to see each other in each case separately.

Independent authority

The province as an independent local authority has its own parliament, the " provincial " ( " consiglio Provinciale " ), which can be compared approximately with the county days in Germany.

The provincial government consists of a popularly elected directly for five years, " President of the Province " ( one renewal possible ) and the so-called " Provincial Committee " ( " giunta " about: " Magistrate " ), which also drew next to the President of the Province. Assistant or speakers ( " Assessori " ) are represented, lead to particular management areas of the province.

To further decentralization to the provinces can be further subdivided into so-called " circondari ". However, it is purely administrative districts which have only remote offices or their own bodies for the purpose of its citizens. ( Municipalities may in turn establish overarching purpose associations, but should not be confused with any existing " circondari ").

The provinces as independent authorities only a limited remit, such as the maintenance of the school buildings or even in hunting and inland fishing industry. However, many regions they have to be transferred responsibilities, such as vocational schooling.

Autonomous provinces

The two autonomous provinces of Bolzano (South Tyrol ) and Trento (Trentino ) occupy a special position, in contrast to other provinces extensive legislative and executive powers and financial resources related because they have (see South Tyrol package). They are equivalent to the Italian regions.

Cities with special status

The cities with special status, Italian Città metropolitan are a provided by the Constitution of the Italian Republic corporation, which is to take over all the functions of a province, and in addition some community functions simultaneously. Unlike in the case of the German independent cities, there is no provision in Italy that municipality and province together to form a common structure and thus be " free province ". If the Città metropolitan actually incurred, in addition, municipalities will continue to exist. The need to set up procedures that require the participation of the affected region in defining the boundaries have not yet been initiated. Therefore, the Città metropolitan consist only on paper.

For pull Turin, Genoa, Milan, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples, Bari and Reggio Calabria general government laws such status into consideration.

In the case of communities that are located in the regions with a special statute (such as Trieste, Cagliari, Palermo, Messina and Catania), each region is responsible for the establishment of large cities with special status.

Further development

In a referendum on 6 May 2012, the large majority of voters in Sardinia for the abolition of the eight provinces of their region spoke out. The Sardinian Regional Council then decided on 25 May 2012 that up to 28 February 2013, the powers of the provinces to be transferred to municipalities or region and the dissolution of the provinces on March 1, 2013, to take effect.

As part of the austerity measures for the rehabilitation of the Italian budget, the complete or partial reversal of the provinces is discussed since 2010. On 3 July 2012, the Monti government suggested all the provinces that do not meet two of the following three criteria dissolve:

  • At least 350,000 inhabitants
  • At least 3,000 sq km area
  • At least 50 communities

In October 2012 it was decided to reduce the provinces of 86 to 51 in the regions with normal statute. It also includes the still to be built Città Metropolitan, where the functions of cities and provinces are largely merged. In the province as an independent authority, there will be in the executive branch only the president, but no more Deputy Assessors. Through the early end of the Monti government, these reforms have not been implemented. In talks to form a government after the parliamentary elections in Italy in 2013 a total abolition of the provinces is again discussed and approved a draft law.


The following list gives the provinces with the state again in 2011. The first column lists the relevant two-letter abbreviations that are used for example in the license plate. Although the Aosta Valley is not a province, but is traditionally counted as such.