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A brief intro to the regions of our boot

When you travel through Italy the first thing you find out is that you are crossing several cultures in one single country. From North to South, you may feel like traveling to twenty different countries and meeting people who do not even belong to the same culture. Let’s take a quick look at how Italy is divided and what features every different part has.

Regions: Italy is divided into 20 regions (here it is the full list). The names of these regions often come from the historical heritage of the area. Let’s look at some examples:

Lazio (Rome’s region): it is the Italian version of Latium (in Latin the T in “tiu” was read Z). It was the region of the Latins and where Latin language was first spoken.

Campania (Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi,…): it comes from the Italian word for “farmland”. It was the area where in ancient Rome they had farms and products were then taken to Rome through the Appian Way.

Puglia (the heel of the boot): originally it was Apulia. It is the contraction of A Pluvium, in Latin “no rain”. Being the region very dry they named it for what its main feature was.

Marche: the only region with a plural name. It is the unification of different “Marca”: a marca used to be a border (something that is “marked”) and it was controlled by the Marchese (Marquise). This was the border of the Stato Pontificio (Church-state) until the unification of Italy.

Piemonte (Turin, FIAT,…): literally “at the foot of the mountain” from Pied (foot) mont (mountain). Located at the bottom of the amazing Alps, this region is one of the greatest ones in Northern Italy.

Umbria (Assisi, Perugia, St. Francis): named after the population who lived here in ancient times, this is also the heart of the country. The Umbrians were an Italic population and the area was simply named after them.

Veneto: this region simply takes its name from the city it hosts, Venezia. It does not need further presentations.

Now that we briefly looked at Italy’s regions (not all of them of course) it is time to understand a little bit more about every single one of them!