Italy is divided into 20 areas, regions or regions. Regions In italian. Each region has a government and a parliament. 5 of the regions, namely: Sicily, Sardinia, Valle d'Aosta, Trentino-South Tyrol and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, have autonomous status. This means that these regions are dependent and do not have full political independence or sovereignty. However, they do have more say in shaping politics and they levy their own taxes.
Table of contents
- Emilia Romagna
- Friuli-Venezia Giulia
- The Marches
- Trentino South Tyrol
- Valle d'Aosta
A region is what we would call a province in the Netherlands. Within the Italian region there are provinces, which we would call regions in the Netherlands (eg Achterhoek, Twente, Veluwe). This is to make things a little more complicated…
Regions are areas without political boundaries that can also cross regions and provinces. But popularly speaking, regions also mean regions…
The regions of Italy plus the regional capitals on the map (click to enlarge):
The Abruzzo region is located in the south-central part of Italy. The region is called Abruzzo in Italian. It is a region that has not really been discovered by tourism yet.
This region gained some fame for the devastation caused by the earthquakes of 2009 in the capital L'Aquila left behind.
The further you descend into the Boot, the less mass tourism. It then becomes a lot more pleasant on the Italian beaches.
North of Pescara towards the De Marken region (Le Marche) the beaches are often very busy in high season, but the further south you go, the more relaxed the atmosphere. You will find very few foreign tourists here.
The Adriatic coast off the Abruzzo (Abruzzo) is clean, well maintained and there are many places to eat and drink
Not all beaches on the Adriatic coast are long sandy beaches. South of Pescara, the coast turns into pristine rocky beaches with secluded coves.
These are perfect spots for diving and snorkeling in the clear sea. You can even catch your own lunch there and enjoy a barbecue on the beach.
This area is known as the 'Trabocchi Coast', named after the wooden fishing platforms scattered along the coastline on wooden stilts in the sea.
The Costa dei Trabocchi
The Trabocchi Coast in Abruzzo is unique and is on the List of Monuments. From the coastal road of Pescara to extensive, you can see some Trabocchi standing in the sea.
These huts built on stilts are made almost entirely of wood and have been used for fishing for centuries. The huts can be reached via a dangerous and narrow bridge, which also stands on wooden stilts in the sea.
It is easy for the fishermen to cast their nets from the platform and to retrieve them with a special system.
Over the centuries, some of the Trabocchi have been destroyed by storms, but fortunately some have also been rebuilt. There are also a number of Trabocchi restaurants today, where visitors are served a set fish menu.
These restaurants are only open during high season and advance reservation is required. The view, the lapping waves and the delicious fresh fish make for a special evening.
Even further south is Vasto. Here you will find sand dunes and ferry ports where fishermen sell their catch of the day. This is one of the most authentic areas of the entire region.
At the southernmost tip of the Abruzzo coast, close to the border with Molise, is the small town of San Salvo Marina. Here you will also find a beautiful beach with excellent facilities. The total coastline of the Abruzzo covers 133 kilometers.
Coastal towns in Abruzzo on the Adriatic Sea: Martinsicuro, Alba Adriatica, Toreto, Giulianova, Roseto degli Abruzzi, Pineto, Silvi Marina, Montesilvano Marina, Pescara, Francavilla al Mare, Ortona, Vasto Marina.
In the heel of the boot lies Apulia (Puglia). Apulia is beautiful, so do Italians themselves. In Italian the region is called Puglia and many Italians spend their holidays here.
It is a long drive by car, which is why you will find fewer families with children from the north here. The most beautiful places in Apulia we have listed it here for you.
Basilicata is one of the most sparsely populated regions in the south of Italy. You can find this region in the sole of the Italian boot. And these are the most beautiful places in Basilicata. Also the great Matera – European Capital of Culture in 2019 – can be found here.
Calabria (Calabria) actually forms the southwestern tip at the front of Italy's boot. Here lies the unknown Italy, far away from the economic center of gravity in the north. Looking for the beautiful places? You will find it here.
Naples is the most famous city and also the capital of the Campania region (Campania). But Campania is more than just Naples! Campania is also the volcano Vesuvius, Pompeii and the magical Amalfi Coast (see below).
De 10 most beautiful places in Campania we have collected here for you.
The Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana in Italian) is the most famous region in the Campania region. This coast on the Sorrento Peninsula attracts tourists from all over the world. To enjoy the beauty of the view, the majestic cliffs, the crystal clear water and of course the real limoncello.
Because of the crowds, it is preferable to travel to great places such as Amalfi, Sorrento and Positano in the preseason or late season.
De most beautiful places on the Amalfi Coast we have listed it here for you.
Il Cilento, tra mare e monti, the Cilento, between mountains and sea. It immediately shows the versatility of this beautiful nature reserve. The Cilento is located in southern Italy, in the Campania region, 2 hours drive south of Naples.
Much of the area was declared a national park in 1991: Parco nazionale del Cilento e Vallo di Diano. Later it was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
A special flower
The national park is a nature reserve with a special ecosystem. In addition to many orchid species, the Primula Palinuri also bloom here. Plants with small yellow flowers.
The Primula Palinuri is only found in the Cilento and was therefore chosen as the symbol of the park. The plant is most threatened by the expansion of tourism.
The Greeks, Romans, Etruscans, Byzantines, they all left their marks in the Cilento. A true delight for culture lovers.
The many medieval villages are sometimes a bit sleepy, but wonderful to walk through and you can always enjoy an excellent cup of coffee. You will also find surprising restaurants with regional dishes.
Watching the older Italians who sometimes argue fiercely and ladies who elegantly in high heels walk over the uneven stones is a fun activity.
The proud and friendly locals are always ready to show you the way or compliment you on the few words of Italian you know
Unspoilt, hidden beaches, crystal clear blue water. Sports enthusiasts can indulge themselves here. Hiking in extensive forests, mountain biking and horseback riding along the coast and in the mountains (Monte Cervati, 1899 m), everything is possible.
A visit to the caves along the coast (Caves of Palinuro) is worthwhile. An exciting trip through a canyon (Morigerati) with rapids is a tough challenge.
This region is densely populated and is one of the best (and richest) regions to live in. You will find the beautiful city here Bologna, which is unfortunately still too often skipped. But the prosperous Emilia-Romagna is also worth a visit outside of Bologna.
View the article with the 10 most beautiful places in Emilia-Romagna.
In the northeast at the borders of Austria and Slovenia lies this beautiful region, which has been influenced by different languages and cultures. In this region you will also find the cities of Trieste and Udine. But also the nature with all its valleys and lakes is overwhelming in this region.
In this region you can find the capital Rome. In Italian the region is called Lazio. Outside the naturally magnificent Rome with its art treasures and Vatican, you will also find in the rest of Latium great beautiful places.
Located in the northwest, Liguria (Liguria) is known for its many seaside resorts and of course for the world famous Cinque Terre, the five villages on the coast that are connected by a footpath and a romantic railway. This region is also known as the Riviera of Flowers .
Are you looking for the most beautiful places in this northern coastal region? Then view this article with the 20 most beautiful places in Liguria.
Lombardy (Lombardia) is one of the most modern regions of Italy. Here you will find many companies and the most European city in Italy: Milan. Lombardy is also striving for more autonomy. Read this piece for the most beautiful places in Lombardy.
Oltrepò Pavese, the Tuscany of Northern Italy
Tuscany is beautiful. But also a long drive from the Netherlands. Good to know that in Lombardy (Northern Italy) there is a beautiful and still virtually unknown region waiting for your visit.
Rolling hills, historic villages, authentic castles… No wonder that the Oltrepò Pavese is also called the 'Tuscany of Northern Italy'.
Wine lovers, take note!
Most of Lombardy's wine comes from this region. In fact, the Oltrepò Pavese is one of the largest wine regions in all of Italy. Not surprisingly, the hills are dotted with vineyards. O
ok the wines of the Oltrepò are not well known abroad. In the region, the winegrowers mainly produce for the large wineries of other regions. And on a small scale, of course, for personal use and enjoyment.
Dozens of small wine producers all make their own version of the region's wines: the Pinot Nero, the Bonarda, the Barbera, the Buttafuoco and the Sangue di Giuda.
No mass tourism in the Oltrepò Pavese
The unfamiliarity of the region in the Netherlands and other countries means that the local population is not geared to foreign visitors. You will therefore be approached with curiosity and the inhabitants are almost amazed if you know a few words of Italian to talk to.
You can still look around, cycle or walk without lines and traffic jams. Massive, modern tourism is completely absent here. In the Oltrepò Pavese there are no fences around the vineyards and the winegrower takes the time for a chat.
The authentic Italian cuisine
The food in the Oltrepò Pavese is still very traditional for the region. It is not adapted to an international taste. It is not necessary to make a specific choice for a 'good restaurant'. Everywhere you step in (restaurants, trattorie, osterie) you will be presented with what the Italian is presented with.
And that is – as you know – very demanding. The 'discoverer' of this beautiful region benefits from this. Best of all, it doesn't have to cost a lot. Also 'il conto' will turn out to be a pleasant surprise.
Want to know more about the Oltrepò Pavese? Read the article with 7 irresistible reasons to come and discover the Oltrepò Pavese.
The Marken region (Le Marche in Italian) is located on the Adriatic Sea and is known for its untouched nature. The region is increasingly visited by tourists from the Netherlands and Flanders. Earlier we wrote an article in which we the most beautiful places in De Marken presented.
Monte Conero is a national park in the Marche region, just south of Ancona. This rock is the highest point on the side of the Adriatic Sea.
On the hill Conero (572 meters) hiking trails have been laid out (sometimes fairly rough), where you can walk alternately between forest and on the coast with beautiful views. Several rare animals such as weasels, beavers and falcons live here.
The beaches at Monte Conero are among the most beautiful in Italy. Outside the tourist season there is a good chance that there are hardly any people on the 'hidden' beaches of Numana and Sirolo.
Molise is the smallest region of Italy after Valle d'Aosta. Also Molise is not really known to the tourist yet. We published about Molise this article with the most beautiful places.
Piedmont (Piedmont) is one of the most prosperous regions of Italy. It is the second largest region in Italy after Sicily. The stately city of Turin – well worth a visit in itself – is the capital of this region (and once briefly the capital of Italy).
Sardinia (Sardegna) is a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea and the third largest region of Italy. The island is known for the remains of thousands of years old civilizations. Here you will find white beaches and azure blue sea. And you can eat delicious.
Sicily (Sicilia) is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, the largest region of Italy and is about the same size as Belgium. It is the southernmost region of Italy.
Sicily is also an autonomous region, which means that it has more say and the central government is less involved. Sicily offers an incredibly wide variety of culture and landscapes.
Sicily is therefore perfect for a round trip, but is too big to explore in just a few days. Then you better limit yourself to the west (Trapani, Erice, Segesta) or the east (Catania with Mount Etna). If you want to see all of Sicily you need at least 14 days.
Tuscany (Toscana) is considered one of the most beautiful regions (also by the Italians themselves), but is also one of the most touristic regions in Italy. As a result, it can get quite busy in some places during the season.
Pro tip: go in spring or autumn and enjoy the beauty of Tuscany without the throngs of tourists.
The most beautiful places in Tuscany – outside the tourist highlights – here..
Trentino South Tyrol
This northern region (Trentino-Alto Adige in Italian) is a true ski paradise in winter. In the summer it is beautifully green and you can walk in the hills and mountains of the Dolomites. It has a very Austrian feel, with a touch of Mediterranean swing.
Umbria (Umbria) is a green region overgrown with vineyards and olive groves and dotted with medieval villages. Umbria is called the green heart of Italy. It is a region with its own language that has long been independent from the rest of the country.
Umbria is great to visit in both winter and summer. The most beautiful places in Umbria we have mapped out for you.
Valle d'Aosta (also called the Aosta Valley or the Aosta Valley) is a mountainous region in northern Italy. It is mainly known as a winter sports resort, but in the Gran Paradise National Park it is also wonderful to stay in the summer.
It's a shame that this smallest region of Italy is often skipped because it has a few of the most beautiful places throughout Italy.
Veneto is a region in the north of Italy. Venice is one of the biggest tourist attractions of this region. Verona is also an attractive city with the famous Arena (the second largest after the Colosseum), the beautiful main square, the bridges over the river and the balcony of Romeo and Juliet.
Photos regions Italy: Pixabay