Registrations in Italy: letters to each province

During my successive research on the Targa Florio then on the Alfa Romeo TZ2, I really bathed a few weeks in Italy, failing to drag my gaiters there. So I was able to see a good number of plates on the cars, license plates painted with stencils, or drawn by hand, so much so that I set out to do some research on this subject. So I decided to talk about it here, coming back to the most important period, the most authentic too.

Today, Italy has changed its registration system to the European system, like France. It is a succession of letters and numbers in three blocks: 2 letters, 3 numbers, 2 letters, with a left blue stripe for the country and a right blue stripe for the province or the department or the region. So much for today, France or Italy.

Mille Miglia 1954, Gino Valenzano spins behind the wheel of his Lancia D24 registered in Turin (TO-Torino), headquarters of the Lancia brand.

But before the appearance of the current system, France or Italy, the province or the department, played a strong role. In France, we were on a block of 4 digits + a block of 2 letters + the department number. On the road to the holidays, locating the numbers of the departments was then an easy game to occupy the children, between two games of « le jeu des 1000 bornes ». A system used from 1950 to 2009.

In Italy, however, the system was quite close. From 1927 to 1994, the two letters of the province were an essential part of registration, a component itself. This gave a block of 2 letters + a block of 6 numbers, and these two letters starting the registration were not there by chance, they were the letters of the main city, of the province to which the car was attached. . Sometimes when the plate format required it, for example, we had 2 letters + 6 numbers.

Here, for example, we have a plate of a car registered in UDINE (UD), north-east of Venice, with its registration number. Here it is one of the nine Alfa Romeo TZ2 Autodelta. Chance you imagine. Note that only Roma, the capital, displays ROMA in full on the license plates. We have class or we don’t have it in Rome.

UD for the province of Udine and the vehicle registration number.

Note that each plaque from the period bears a star. It symbolizes the Italian republic.

Two letters for a city and a province, so here is the complete table.

AG Agrigento Sicilia
AL Alessandria Piemonte
AN Ancona Marche
AO Aosta Valle d’Aosta
AP Ascoli-Piceno Marche
AQ Aquila Abruzzo
AR Arezzo Toscana
AT Asti Piemonte
AV Avellino Campania
BA Bari Puglia
BG Bergamo Lombardia
BI Biella Piemonte
BL Belluno Veneto
BN Benevento Campania
BO Bologna Emilia Romagna
BR Brindisi Puglia
BS Brescia Lombardia
BT Barletta-Andria-Trani Puglia
BZ Bolzano Trentino Alto Adige
CA Cagliari Sardegna
CB Campobasso Molise
CE Caserta Campania
CH Chieti Abruzzo
CI Carbonia-Iglesias Sardegna
CL Caltanissetta Sicilia
CN Cuneo Piemonte
CO Como Lombardia
CR Cremona Lombardia
CS Cosenza Calabria
CT Catania Sicilia
CZ Catanzaro Calabria
EN Enna Sicilia
FC Forli-Cesena Emilia Romagna
FE Ferrara Emilia Romagna
FG Foggia Puglia
FI Firenze Toscana
FM Fermo Marche
FR Frosinone Lazio
GE Genova Liguria
GO Gorizia Friuli Venezia Giulia
GR Grosseto Toscana
IM Imperia Liguria
IS Isernia Molise
KR Crotone Calabria
LC Lecco Lombardia
LE Lecce Puglia
LI Livorno Toscana
LO Lodi Lombardia
LT Latina Lazio
LU Lucca Toscana
MB Monza e Brianza Lombardia
MC Macerata Marche
ME Messina Sicilia
MI Milano Lombardia
MN Mantova Lombardia 
MO Modena Emilia Romagna
MS Massa-Carrara Toscana
MT Matera Basilicata
NA Napoli Campania
NO Novara Piemonte
NU Nuoro Sardegna
OG Ogliastra Sardegna
OR Oristano Sardegna
OT Olbia-Tempio Sardegna
PA Palermo Sicilia
PC Piacenza Emilia Romagna
PD Padova Veneto
PE Pescara Abruzzo
PG Perugia Umbria
PI Pisa Toscana
PN Pordenone Friuli Venezia Giulia
PO Prato Toscana
PR Parma Emilia Romagna
PT Pistoia Toscana
PU Pesaro-Urbino Marche
PV Pavia Lombardia
PZ Potenza Basilicata
RA Ravenna Emilia Romagna
RC Reggio-Calabria Calabria
RE Reggio-Emilia Emilia Romagna
RG Ragusa Sicilia
RI Rieti Lazio
RN Rimini Emilia Romagna
RO Rovigo Veneto
Roma Roma Lazio
SA Salerno Campania
SI Siena Toscana
SO Sondrio Lombardia
SP La-Spezia Liguria
SR Siracusa Sicilia
SS Sassari Sardegna
SV Savona Liguria
TA Taranto Puglia
TE Teramo Abruzzo
TN Trento Trentino Alto Adige
TO Torino Piemonte
TP Trapani Sicilia
TR Terni Umbria
TS Trieste Friuli Venezia Giulia
TV Treviso Veneto
UD Udine Friuli Venezia Giulia
VA Varese Lombardia
VB Verbania Piemonte
VC Vercelli Piemonte
VE Venezia Veneto
VI Vicenza Veneto
VR Verona Veneto
VS Medio Campidano Sardegna
VT Viterbo Lazio
VV Vibo-Valentia Calabria 
Initials, corresponding city and province.

As a kid, during a family vacation in Sicily, I saw a good number of cars, Piaggio APEs and trucks from another time on the roads. These boats from another era bore the registrations of AG, CL, PA, CT, EN and many others … I admit that these plates are now real Proust madeleines … Today, during your next vacation in Italy, when you are passing through the Stelvio Pass, Monza or Florence, I invite you to examine the car registrations. The plates with the two letters before six digits are often old cars. Which in no way detracts from the charm of this little game.

And according to you, which car model inherited this system in its name? This is the Alfa Romeo MiTo. MI for Milano, TO for Torino: designed in Milan, produced in Turin. And no mythomania. Between Milan and Turin, Alfa is ultimately very Fiat.

Thanks to this article, you will now be able to know where your Fiat 500 comes from, the Ferrari 308 GTB of your uncle this armored vehicle, the Mito of your aunt Corinne or the Lancia Aurelia B20 GT of Arturo Benedetto Giovanni Giuseppe Pietro Archangelo Alfredo Cartoffoli.


Andrea Zanussi during the 24 Hours of Ypres, driving the Lancia 037 registered in Turin (Torino, TO). It will be retiring, engine broken.
Lancia is Torino.

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