Italian Peninsula

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Satellite image of the Italian Peninsula in Spring 2003
A map of the Italian Peninsula and its location in Europe.

The Italian Peninsula (or Apennine Peninsula; Italian: Penisola italiana, Penisola appenninica) is a large peninsula of Southern Europe. It protrudes into the Mediterranean Sea, with the Ionian and Adriatic Seas on the east and the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west. It is located between two larger peninsulas, the Iberian Peninsula and the Balkan Peninsula. Because of the peninsula's shape, it is nicknamed Lo Stivale ("The Boot"). Three smaller peninsulas contribute to this characteristic shape, namely Calabria (the "toe"), Salento (the "heel") and Gargano (the "spur").

The peninsula is about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) long, starting from the Po Valley in the north. The Apennine Mountains cover most of its length. It has mainly a Mediterranean climate, though in the mountainous parts the climate is much cooler.

Since the reign of Roman Emperor Augustus (end of 1st century BC), the northern border of the peninsula has been set on the Alps drainage basin. Geographically, however, its northern end runs from the Magra to the Rubicon rivers, north of the Apennines in Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. This definition does not include the Po Valley or the southern slopes of the Alps.[1][2]

Nearly all of the peninsula is part of the Italian Republic, apart from San Marino and the Vatican City.

Modern countries and territories
State Peninsular area Description
Population[3] km2 sq mi Share
 Italian Republic 61,140,000 131,275 50,686 99.9531% Occupies almost the whole of Italy.
 San Marino 31,887 61.2 23.6 0.0466% An enclave in the north-east of peninsular Italy
 Vatican City 829 0.44 0.17 0.0003% An enclave of Rome, Italy

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. De Agostini Ed., L'Enciclopedia Geografica - Vol. I - Italia, 2004, p.78
  2. Touring Club Italiano, Conosci l’Italia - Vol. I: L’Italia fisica, 1957
  3. Population includes only the inhabitants of mainland Italy (excluding Northern Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, San Marino, and Vatican City).

Coordinates: 42°N 14°E / 42°N 14°E / 42; 14