Padania: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Map of Padania as claimed by Lega Nord
 -  Total 160,908 km2 
62,127 sq mi 
 -  2006 estimate 32,882,354 

Padania is an alternative name for Po Valley, historically also known as Lombardy[1]. The name "Padania" was sparingly used until the early 1990s, when the Lega Nord political party proposed the term as a possible denomination for an autonomous Northern Italy. Since then, the term has carried strong political connotations.



In the true geographical sense, Padania refers to the valley of the Po river, Padus in Latin. The term has been rarely used, as the terms pianura Padana or Val Padana have been preferred in geography textbooks and atlases.

Since the 1960s, the journalist Gianni Brera used the term Padania for Cisalpine Gaul. The Lega Nord political party later used the term for a similar geographical range, but with political connotations. Since the early 1990s, therefore, Padania's boundaries are usually defined according to the Italian regions which approximate the historical regional languages which divide northern Italy from central-southern Italy along the La Spezia - Rimini line.

Another definition of Padania's boundaries is based on Harvard University political scientist Robert Putnam's Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, in which Italy's "civic North" is defined according to the inhabitants' civic traditions and attitudes, related to the historical emergence of the free Medieval communes since the 10th century[2]. This definition includes Tuscany, Marche, Umbria, and parts of Lazio, although these regions are linguistically a part of Central Italy.


Since 1989, Lega Nord, a federation of Northern regionalist parties, has promoted either secession or larger autonomy for Padania, proposing also a flag and a national anthem. In 1997, Lega Nord also created an unofficial Padanian Parliament in Mantua, and held unofficial elections.

As national anthem Lega Nord chose the Va' Pensiero chorus from Giuseppe Verdi's Nabucco, in which the exiled Hebrew slaves lament for their lost homeland. Since 1998 Lega Nord organized a Padania national football team, which took part and won the 2008 VIVA World Cup.

While support for a federal system, as opposed to a centrally administered State, receives widespread consensus within Padania, support for independence is less favoured. One poll estimated that 52.4% of Padanians north of the Po river consider secession advantageous (vantaggiosa), and 23.2% both advantageous and convenient (auspicabile). [3 ] Another poll estimated that about 20% Padanians (18.3% in North-West Italy, 27.4% in North-East Italy) support secession in case Italy is not reformed into a federal State.[4 ] According to a more recent poll 45% of Northeners (52% of Lombards and Venetians) support the independence of Padania.[5]


The dominant language in the area is standard Italian. French, Franco-Provençal, Occitan, German, Ladin and Slovene are spoken close to the border areas and are officially recognized by the State as minority languages.

Several local Northern Italian languages are very commonly used, depending on the Region and the age group. Veneto is generally considered to be the Region where the local language continues to be used most, as about 75% of the Venetian population speaks Venetian.[6] Older people are more likely to speak the local language than younger people, and also use a less Italianized version. These so-called dialects are considered to be regional minority languages by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of the Council of Europe, by the Red Book on Endangered Languages of UNESCO and by Ethnologue. The various local Northern Italian languages include Lombard, Ligurian, Emiliano-Romagnolo, Piedmontese and Venetian.


General classification

Hull's classification

Linguist Geoffrey Hull has shown the original unity of the Padanese group of languages in his thesis entitled The Linguistic Unity of Northern Italy and Rhaetia (1982).[7] His findings are confirmed by most experts today[8], which use the term Rheto-cisalpine in place of Padanese. Hull divides the Padanese group into two sub-groups: highland and lowland. The highland group includes Friulan, Ladin and Romansh. The first two have achieved official recognition in Italy, whilst Romansh, in the form of Rumantsch Grischun, a compromise variety, is the fourth official language of Switzerland. This sub-group of languages is better known as Rhaeto-Romance languages. Thus, Hull suggests the following classification:

See also


  1. ^ see for example Coryat's Crudities hastily gobbled up in Five Months Travels in France, Italy, &c
  2. ^ L. Guiso, P. Sapienza, L. Zingales (2007). "Long Term Persistence" (PDF). mimeo, University of Chicago. Retrieved 2008-05-17.  
  3. ^ I.Diamanti (1996-01-01). "Il Nord senza Italia?". Limes.  
  4. ^ . L'Indipendente. 2000-08-23.  
  5. ^
  6. ^ Raixe Venete, el jornale dei Veneti -, el sito Veneto - in lingua veneta (dialetto veneto)
  7. ^ Geoffrey Hull, The Linguistic Unity of Northern Italy and Rhaetia, 1982, p. 650
  8. ^ See G.B.Pellegrini, M.Pfister, H.Schmidt, C.Salvioni and P. Bec in Italia Settentrionale: Crocevia di Idiomi Romanzi - Atti del convegno internazionale di studi - Trento, 21/23 ottobre 1993", a cura di Emanuele Banfi, Giovanni Bonfadini, Patrizia Cordin, Maria Iliescu. Tübingen: Niemayer, 1995. ISBN 3-484-50304-1

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary





Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:





  1. A region of Northern Italy, centered on the valley of the river Po, that seeks independence


Proper noun

Padania f.

  1. Padania

Related terms


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