Italy is divided into 20 regions, which are subdivided into a total
of 94 provinces. Each region is governed by an executive responsible
to a popularly elected council. The regional governments have considerable
The chief executive of each of the provinces, the prefect, is appointed
by, and answerable to, the central government and in fact has little
An elected council and a provincial executive committee administer
each province. Every part of Italy forms a portion of a commune,
the basic unit of local government, which may range in size from
a small village to a large city such as Naples; there were more
than 8000 communes in the early 1990s.
Each commune is governed by a communal council elected for a four-year
term by universal suffrage. A mayor is elected by each council.