In Italy, a province (''provincia'') is an administrative division of intermediate level between a municipality (''comune'') and a region (''regione'').
On 3 April 2014 the Italian Chamber of Deputies gave its final approval to the Law n.56/2014 which involves the transformation of the Italian provinces into "institutional bodies of second level" and the birth of 10 special Metropolitan cities. The reorganization of the Italian provinces will be operative by January 2015.
The new law which transforms the provinces is preliminary to their abolition, as a revision of the second part of the Italian Constitution is needed in order to change the current bicameral parliamentary system and to abolish.
A province of the Italian Republic is composed of many municipalities (''comune''). Usually several provinces together form a region; the region of Aosta Valley is the sole exception – it is not subdivided into provinces, and provincial functions are exercised by the region.
The three main functions devolved to provinces are:
* local planning and zoning;
* provision of local police and fire services;
* transportation regulation (car registration, maintenance of local roads, etc.).
The number of provinces in Italy has been steadily growing in recent years, as many new ones are carved out of older ones. Usually, the province's name is the same as that of its capital city.
According to the 2014 reform, each province is headed by a President assisted by a legislative body, the Provincial Council, and an executive body, the Provincial Executive. President and members of Council are elected together by mayors and city councilors of each municipality of the province. The Executive is chaired by the President who appoint others members, called ''assessori''. Since 2015 the President and others members of the Council will not receive a salary.〔http://elezioni.interno.it/l56_2014.html〕
In each province there is also a Prefect (''prefetto''), a representative of the central government who heads an agency called ''prefettura-ufficio territoriale del governo''. The Questor (''questore'') is the head of State's Police (''Polizia di Stato'') in the province and his office is called ''questura''. There is also a province's police force depending from local government, called provincial police (''polizia provinciale'').
The Alto Adige and Trentino are autonomous provinces: unlike all other provinces they have the same legislative powers as regions and are not subordinated to the region they are part of, namely the region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol.
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