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.
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:
- Porta Capena
- Isis et Serapis
- Templum Pacis
- Alta Semita
- Via Lata
- Forum Romanum
- Circus Flaminius
- Circus Maximus
- Piscina Publica
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:
- Terme (part of Monti);
- Suburra (part of Monti);
- Quirinale (Trevi);
- Pincio (Colonna);
- Marte (Campo Marzio);
- Bruto (Ponte);
- Pompeo (Regola and Parione);
- Flaminio (Sant’ Eustachio);
- Pantheon (Pigna and Sant’Angelo);
- Campidoglio (Campitelli and Ripa);
- Gianicolo (Trastevere);
- Vaticano (Borgo);
Soon after this, during the Napoleonic period, Rome was split into 8 parts, each part called Giustizie (meaning “justices” in Italian):
- Colonna and Campo Marzio;
- Ponte and Borgo;
- Parione and Regola;
- Sant’ Eustachio and Pigna;
- Campitelli, Sant’Angelo and Ripa;
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:
Coat of Arms of the modern rioni