Keywords: Special Administration; Sicily; Giovanni Codronchi; Mezzogiorno; Prefectures.
The article focuses on the internal organization of the Commissario Civile per la Sicilia in 1896-97. This brief experience was the first example of special administration in Italy. For the first time the liberal ruling class broke the juridical uniformity that had been typical of the post-unitary administration. Behind the Commissioner, there was a complex structure of officials and prefects forming a "super prefecture", with the task to make an extraordinary control of the Sicilian municipalities after the riots of 1893-94. The article aims at demonstrating how the Sicilian experience remained in the "memory" of the Italian administration and inspired following experiences, such as the "Commissario Civile per la Basilicata" in 1904 or the "Alto Commissario per Napoli" in 1925.