Italy Natural Environment

Geography of Italy 

Italy can be identified easily on the map, as it is shaped like a boot in southern Europe extending into the Mediterranean Sea; it also owns the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.  To its west is France; to its north is Switzerland and Austria and to its east is Slovenia.  Italy surrounds two tiny states, the Vatican and San Marino.


The country has an area of 301,200 sq km.  Rome is the capital; other major cities include Bologna, Genoa, Florence, Palermo, Turin, Venice, Naples and Milan. 


Much of Italy is mountainous. Across the northern past of Italy are the Dolomites which are part of the Alps mountain range.  Running down the centre of Italy from north to south are the Apennine mountains, which separates the eastern and western coasts. 


Just south of the Dolomites is the Po Valley, which provides fertile farmland for crops such as wheat and rice.


Sicily is a mountainous island with active volcanoes and earthquakes.  Sardinia, just south of the French island of Corsica, is made up of mountains rising from the sea.


The three main rivers in Italy are: the Po River, which comes down from the Alps on the French border, through Turin into the Adriatic Sea; the Arno, which comes from the Apennines and flows through Florence into the Tyrrhenian Sea; and the Tiber, which is also from Apennines, flows through Rome into the Tyrrhenian Sea. 


The country has several active volcanoes.  The most well-known are Mt Etna on Sicily and Mt Vesuvius which overlooked Naples and destroyed the ancient city of Pompeii in 79 AD.  The last eruption of Mt Vesuvius was in 1944 during WW II.  Near Sicily are two other volcanoes: the Stromboli and the Vulcano; both are located in the Aeolian group of islands..

Apart from the Po Valley where crops are grown, many parts of Italy also grow fruits, olives, tomatoes and grapes.  Italy is a key exporter of olives and wine.

Last edited Jan 15, 09 10:38 AM. Contributors: Contributors: Andrew W.
Italy Climate 

Italy has a Mediterranean climate, with a hot and dry summer, and a mild and wet winter, especially in the south.  In the mountain regions, the weather is colder.

Last edited Jan 15, 09 10:39 AM. Contributors: Contributors: Andrew W.
Venice, Veneto Region, Italy
We just went in February. A beautiful time to go. Crowds were down and the weather was crisp!
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Rome, Lazio Region, Italy
Rome is the most beautifull city of the world,culture,shopping nice weather,everything you find there!!!
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Monza, Lombardy Region, Italy
Try and time your trip for the Italian GP - its relaxed, the weather is always great and you get to see Ferrarri racing in their home country. Be prepared to be blinded by red! You can also take a short train ride to Lago di Como for some picturesque scenery...
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Cagliari, Sardinia Region, Italy
Situated in the south of Italy, a small village, with nice and kind people. So pitoresk... the weather is so nice and hot.. so much to see
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Monterosso al Mare, Liguria Region, Italy
one of the five Cinque Terre  villages
I went in March, great weather, almost no tourists
it was great!
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