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Rioni of Rome, based on Wikipedia (thanks Wiki!).

Above: A map of the center of Rome (“centro storico”, roughly equal to the walled city) with its rioni.

A rione of Rome (pl. rioni) is a traditional administrative division of the city. “Rione” is the term used since the 14th century to name a district of a town.  The term was born in Rome, originating from the administrative divisions of the city. The word comes from the Latin word regio (meaning region); during the Middle Ages the Latin word became rejones, from which rione comes. Currently, all the rioni are located in Municipal I of Rome.

Ancient Rome

According to tradition, it was Servius Tullius the sixth king of Rome who first divided the city into 4 regiones. The first emperor Augustus created the 14 regiones of Rome that were in effect throughout the Imperial era, as attested by the 4th-century Cataloghi regionari, which names and provides information for each. All but Transtiberim (the modern Trastevere) were on the left bank of the river Tiber. The regions were:

  1. Porta Capena
  2. Caelimontium
  3. Isis et Serapis
  4. Templum Pacis
  5. Esquiliae
  6. Alta Semita
  7. Via Lata
  8. Forum Romanum
  9. Circus Flaminius
  10. Palatium
  11. Circus Maximus
  12. Piscina Publica
  13. Aventinus
  14. Transtiberim

Middle Ages

After the fall of the Western Roman Emprie and the decline of Rome, the population decreased and the regiones divisions were lost. During the 12th century, a division in 12 parts started being used. The limits of the rioni became more definitive and official in the 13th century: their number increased to 13 and it remained the same until the 16th century. The rione was not a political entity, only administrative. The chief of a rione was the Caporione.

Modern ages

During the Renaissance, the city was reorganized and expanded, and the rioni were reinstituted.  The name comes from regio in Latin; rione in the vernacular term.

In 1586, Sixtus V added Borgo as another rione.

In 1744 Pope Benedict XIV replanned the administrative division of Rome. Marble plates defining the borders of each rione, many of which still exist, were installed in that year on the facades of houses lying at each rione’s border.

In 1798, during the Roman Republic, there was a reorganization of the administrative divisions of the city, creating 12 rioni. They are named below, with the modern rione in parentheses after:

  1. Terme (part of  Monti);
  2. Suburra (part of  Monti);
  3. Quirinale (Trevi);
  4. Pincio (Colonna);
  5. Marte (Campo Marzio);
  6. Bruto  (Ponte);
  7. Pompeo (Regola and Parione);
  8. Flaminio (Sant’ Eustachio);
  9. Pantheon (Pigna and Sant’Angelo);
  10. Campidoglio (Campitelli and Ripa);
  11. Gianicolo (Trastevere);
  12. Vaticano (Borgo);

Soon after this, during the Napoleonic period, Rome was split into 8 parts, each part called Giustizie (meaning “justices” in Italian):

  1. Monti;
  2. Trevi;
  3. Colonna and Campo Marzio;
  4. Ponte and Borgo;
  5. Parione and Regola;
  6. Sant’ Eustachio and Pigna;
  7. Campitelli, Sant’Angelo and Ripa;
  8. Trastevere

Today

The Napoleonic subdivisions remained in effect until Rome became the capital of the newly formed Italy in 1861. The new capital grew quickly, both within and without the Aurelian walls. In 1874 the rioni numbered 15, with the addition of  Esquilino. At the beginning of the 20th century, some rioni were further subdivided and the first parts outside the Aurelian walls started being considered part of the city.  In 1921, the number of the rioni increased to 22. Prati was the last rione to be established and the only one outside the walls of Urbanus VIII.

The latest reform was made in 1972: Rome was divided in 20 circosrizioni (later renamed municipi. One of these later became the independent municipality of Fiumicino, and 20 rioni (which together form the Centro Storico) constituted the first one, Municipio I.  The two remaining, Borgo and Prati, belonged to the XVIIth municipality until 2013. Since then they belong too to the first Municipio.

The complete list of the modern rioni, in order of number, is the following:

1 – Monti, with the Hills of Quirinal and Viminal
2 – Trevi
3 – Colonna
4 – Campo Marzio
5 – Ponte
6 – Parione
7 – Regola
8 – Sant’Eustachio

9 – Pigna
10 – Campitelli, with the Hills of Capitol and Palatine
11 – Sant’Angelo
12 – Ripa, with the Hill of Aventine
13 – Trastevere, with the so-called “8th Roman Hill” of the Gianicolo
14 – Borgo, bordering Vatican City
15 – Esquilino, with the equally named Hill

16 – Ludovisi
17 – Sallustiano
18 – Castro Pretorio
19 – Celio, with the equally named Hill
20 – Testaccio
21 – San Saba
22 – Prati

Coat of Arms of the modern rioni

 

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