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Map of Italy

 
 
 

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Mont Blanc - deep blue sky background - green fir trees foreground The Italian Republic is located on a boot-shaped peninsula in southern Europe, bordered by France to the west, by Austria and Switzerland to the north, by Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea to the northeast, and by the Mediterranean Sea to the south.  Including the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, Italy occupies an area of 116,306 square miles, and features 4,712 miles of coastline.  Italy has a population of more than 58 million, and while 94% of the country's citizens are Italian, many people of German, French, Albanian, Slovene, and Greek descent call Italy home as well.

Italy Map, Showing Major Cities

map of italy
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Geography of Italy

Italy's most populated and fertile region is the northern plains, which is bordered by the Alps and drains into the River Po.  Meanwhile, the Apennines in southern Italy can reach up to 9,800 feet high, particularly in the San Grasso Range that overlooks the central Adriatic Sea.

Italy also has a string of volcanoes in the south, going from Vesuvius, which is near Naples, all the way to Mount Etna on Sicily.  The volcanic activity which can be found throughout Italy is a key reason why Italy's soil is so fertile.

Italy's Climate

The climate in southern Italy is mild and moist in the winters, and warm and dry in the summer; the climate in northern Italy is cold and snowy in the winter but warm and sunny in the summer.

Leading Italian Cities

Major cities in Italy include the capital city of Rome as well as Milan, and Venice.  In the lively city of Rome, visitors can experience the maniacal taxi drivers and ubiquitous espresso shops as well as ancient ruins of the Colosseum and the Roman forum.  Many visitors to Rome also go to see the State of the Vatican City, the smallest independent nation in the world, which sits on the west bank of Rome's River Tiber.

Milan, situated in northwest Italy, is a leading commercial and financial center, with an accent on fashion and design-oriented enterprises.  Venice, situated in northeastern Italy on the Adriatic Sea, is a crowded city of canals and picturesque old neighborhoods and palaces.  Tourists throughout Italy can experience their fair share of impressive ruins that date back to the Roman empire, as well as some of the world's most well-known art.

In addition to tourism, both industry and agriculture contribute to Italy's economy.  Industries include chemicals, cars, machinery, textiles, and processed foods, while major crops include grapes, olives, citrus fruits, sugar beets, and vegetables.

Italy Travel Information

Italian culture and art have inspired many throughout the centuries.  Italy surrounds the smallest country in the world, Vatican City, well-known for Saint Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.  Italy is also home to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the volcanic Mount Etna on Sicily.  On the Italian-French border, Italy's highest point, Mont Blanc, rises to 15,771 feet / 4,807 meters.  For more information on visiting Italy, visit ENIT, the official Italian tourism site.

Italian Tourism

Italian Resources

  • CIA - The World Factbook - Italy - Italy statistics, maps and geography offered by a United States Government almanac.
  • Italy in the Yahoo! Directory - Features government, tourist, art and other sites from Italy.
  • Wikipedia - Italy - This free online encyclopedia includes information about Italian history, regions in Italy and the geography of Italy.
  • Italy News - News headlines and news article links about current events in the nation of Italy.

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