Mere administrative districts of the central state during the Kingdom of Italy, Regions were granted political autonomy by the 1948 Constitution of the Italian Republic.
Nevertheless, the actual implementation of regional autonomy was postponed till the first Regional Elections of 1970, as the ruling Christian Democracy party didn't want the opposition Italian Communist Party to gain government in many of them where it was historically rooted (the red belt of Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria and Marche).
The regions acquired a significant level of autonomy following a constitutional reform in 2001 (brought about by a centre-left government and confirmed by popular referendum), granting them with residual policy competence.
A further federalist reform was proposed by the regionalist party Lega Nord and in 2005, the centre-right government led by Silvio Berlusconi proposed a new reform of the Constitution that would have entailed greatly increasing the powers of all regions. In June 2006 the proposals, which had been particularly associated with the Lega Nord, and seen by some as leading the way to a federal state, were rejected in a referendum by 61.7% to 38.3%.
The results varied considerably from one region to another, ranging to 55.3% in favour in Veneto to 82% against in Calabria.
|Le Marche (The Marches)||Marchisan or Marchean||Ancona||&00000000000096940000009,694||&00000000015530000000001,553,000|
|Trentino-Alto Adige (Südtirol, Southern Tyrol)||Trentine - South Tyrolean||Trento||&000000000001360700000013,607||&00000000010070000000001,007,000|
|Valle d'Aosta (Aosta Valley)||Valdôtain or Valdostano||Aosta/Aoste||&00000000000032630000003,263||&0000000000126000000000126,000|
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The regions of Italy are the first-level administrative divisions of the state, constituting its first NUTS administrative level.