Sometimes referred to as the Po Valley, Padania is made up of nine administrative regions in northern Italy and Croatia, consisting of Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Liguria, Trentino, Vallée d’Aoste and Istria.
Italy’s city states, kingdoms and duchies go back as far as the Middle Ages, evolving over time and constant flux until finally becoming part of a united Italy in 1870. Despite the unification, strong regional identities remained and continue up to today and Guido Fanti, who was Mayor of Bologna and a member of the Communist Party in the 1970s, was the first person to to propose the notion of Padania as an independent state.
Padanian nationalism ramped up in the 1990s thanks, in part, to the political party Lega Nord (which roughly translates as Northern League), but also smaller separatist parties such as Lega Padana, the Padanian Union and Grande Nord.
Padania are competing at the 2018 CONIFA World Cup, here’s everything you need to know about the tournament.
As a country made up of a variety of historic kingdoms and city states, Italy has consistently had strong regional identity that can, at times, trump the idea of national pride. In 1991 Lega Nord was set up with the primary goal of helping Padania become a federal state. Their feeling is that the money and business generated in the north of Italy should remain there.
The Padan’s flag is the Saint George’s Cross, because it is the flag shared by Genoa, as well as many Padan Municipalities, such as Milan, Padua, Alessandria and Bologna.
Padania has a population of 26 million people, just less half of the entire population of modern day Italy as a whole. Across Padania, the region’s white population is at over 90%, and the majority of its Christian population are Roman Catholics, with a small part following the Protestant Waldensian Evangelical Church.