Central Italy (Italian: Italia centrale or just Centro) is one of the five official statistical regions of Italy used by the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), a first-level NUTS region and a European Parliament constituency.
Central Italy encompasses four of the country's 20 regions:
The southernmost and easternmost parts of Lazio (Sora, Cassino, Gaeta, Cittaducale, Formia, and Amatrice districts) are often included in Southern Italy (the so-called Mezzogiorno) for cultural and historical reasons, since they were once part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and southern Italian dialects are spoken.
As a geographical region, however, central Italy may also include the regions of Abruzzo and Molise, which are usually part of Southern Italy for cultural and historical reasons.
Marche, Tuscany and Umbria form, along with Emilia-Romagna to the immediate north, what is traditionally the most left-wing region in Italy.
Lazio, particularly outside of Rome, is more politically conservative, a trait which it shares with Southern Italy.