1902 Encyclopedia > Italy > Italian Statistics - Introduction. Extent of Italy (Provinces, etc.)

(Part 8)


Italian Statistics - Introduction. Extent of Italy (Provinces, etc.)

The preceding sections have dealt with Italy the country as a permanent physical unity; here it is proposed to consider Italy the kingdom as a modern political and social unity. In dealing with the various aspects of the subject we shall be continually reminded of the fact that Italy is one of the very youngest of the greater nations of Europe. In attempting to trace back the movement of any department of social activity, the investigator here finds his retrospect soon interrupted and closed ; instead of the statistics of the kingdom of Italy he has only the statistics, fragmentary and incapable of comparison, of the several states by whose incorporation it has been formed.

Extent.—Of the Italian frontier 294 miles coincide with that of France, 355 with that of Switzerland, and 269 with that of Austria. Owing mainly to natural causes, but partly also to political traditions, the line is a very irregular one ; and at various points it has been subjected to rectifications on a small scale since the consolidation of the kingdom. The limits towards France are determined by the convention signed at Turin in 1861. The same year saw the revision of the line between Lombardy and Ticino on the basis of the treaty of Varese, 1752. In 1863 the boundary of the Grisons was slightly modified, and the Lei valley assigned to Italy; in 1873 the frontier was fixed between Teramo and Brusio and at the Alp de Cravairola ; and in 1875 a district of 4324 acres, or nearly 7 square miles, which had been in dispute was assigned to Italy by the arbitration of the United States, and incorporated with the province of Novara. On the surrender of the Austrian provinces of Italy to the now kingdom in 1867, it was decided that the frontier between the two states should be that of the actual administration of the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom.

The total area of the kingdom of Italy is given officially as 296,322"91 square kilometres or 114,380'64 square miles ; but the estimate confessedly rests on data that are to a considerable extent provisional. It was published by Maestri, the head of the general direction of statistics in the census returns for 1861, and the investigations of the minister of public works in 1871 tended to confirm its general accuracy. But that it should be more than a very fair approximation to the truth is impossible in the defective state of the Italian surveys. Though various parts of the country were carefully gone over for cadastral purposes by commissions appointed by several of the independent states of the peninsula, the methods employed in the different cases w^re so heterogeneous that the results, even if complete, could not readily and correctly be combined into a whole. Many of the communes are destitute of any authentic demarcation of their territorial limits.

Territorial Divisions.—The kingdom is divided into the following sixteen compartimenti (Table I.) :—
1. Piedmont: Alessandria, Cnneo, Novara, Turin.
2. Liguria : Genoa, Porto Maurizio.
3. Lombardy: Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Mantua, Milan, Pavia,
4. Venice: Belluno, Padua, Rovigo, Treviso, Udine, Venice, Verona, Vicenza.
5. Emilia: Bologna, Ferrara, Forh, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Ravenna,
6. Umbria: Ferueia.
7. Marches: Ancona, Aseoli Piceno, Macerata, Pesaro-Urbino.
8. Tuscany: Arezzo, Florence, Grosseto, Leghorn, Lucca, Massa-Carrara,
Pisa, Siena.
9. Latium: Rome.
10. Abruzzi and Molise: Aquila, Campobasso, Chieti, Teramo.
11. Campania: Avellino, Benevento, Caserta, Naples, Salerno.
12. Apulia: Bari. Foggia, Lecce.
13. Basilicata: Potenza.
14. Calabrias : Catanzuro, Cosenza, Reggio.
15. Sicily: Caltanisetta, Catania, Girgenti, Messina, Palermo, Syracuse,
16. Sardinia : Cagliari, Sassari.

Of these Abruzzi and Molise, Campania, Apulia, Basilicata, and the Calabrias are not unfrequently grouped together in statistical tables under the name of the Neapolitan territory (Napoletano). The provinces which formed the Sardinian kingdom are often spoken of as the Ancient Provinces.

These compartimenti, however, are not true administrative divisions, but rather conventional groupings of a number of provinces. It is the province which forms the true administrative unit. According to modern nomenclature it always takes its name from the capoluogo (chef-lieu or administrative centre), which is the seat of the prefeccture. The provinces are subdivided into so many circles or districts (tha name eircondario being employed in all parts of the kingdom except the Veneto, where the old established word distretto is still in use). The division known as the mandamento has to do with the legal administration only. It must be noted that formerly many of the provinces had special designations other than those of their chief towns, and that some of these are still of not infrequent occurrence especially outside of Italy. Thus Reggio corresponds to Calabria Ulteriore Prima, Catanzaro to Calabria Ulteriore Seconda, Cosenza to Calabria Citeriore, Teramo to Abruzzo Ulteriore Primo, Aquila to Abruzzo Ulteriore Secondo, Chieti to Abruzzo Citeriore, Campobasso to Molise, Foggia to Capitanata, Lecce to Terra d'Otranto, Bari to Terra di Bari, Avellino to Principato Ulteriore, Salerno to Principato Citeriore, Caserta to Terra di Lavoro, Potenza to Basilicata.

The following table (II.) gives the provinces, with their respective areas, according to Professor Baccarini in the Annuario Statistico Italiano 1881, pp. 82-9, and the populations ascertained by the census of 1861 and that of December 31, 1871. The figures in this table give a total of 114,403 square miles, slightly differing from the Maestri estimate.

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