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Italian Peninsula

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Title: Italian Peninsula  
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Italian Peninsula

Italian Peninsula
Apennine Peninsula  
Penisola italiana, Penisola appenninica, Terraferma or Continente (Italian)
A map of the Italian Peninsula and its location in Europe.
Satellite view of the peninsula in March 2003.
Location Southern Europe

Area 131,337 km2 (50,709 sq mi)
Highest elevation 2,912 m (9,554 ft)
Highest point Corno Grande
Sovereign states and dependent territories
Largest settlement Rome
Largest settlement Dogana
Largest settlement Itself (City-state)
Demonym Apenninen
Population 26,171,000
Density 199.27 /km2 (516.11 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Italian and Sammarinese

The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula (Italian: Penisola italiana, Penisola appenninica) is the central and the smallest of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe (the other two being the Iberian Peninsula and Balkan Peninsula), spanning 1,000 km (620 mi) from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale (The Boot). Three smaller peninsulas contribute to this characteristic shape, namely Calabria (the "toe"), Salento (the "heel") and Gargano (the "spur").

Geographically it coincides with a line extending from the Magra to the Rubicon rivers, north of the Tuscan–Emilian Apennines, which excludes the Po Valley and the southern slope of the Alps.[1][2] All of the peninsula is part of the state of Italy except for the microstates of San Marino and Vatican City. Additionally, Sicily, Elba and other smaller islands, such as Palagruža (Italian: Pelagosa), belonging to Croatia, are usually considered as islands off the peninsula and in this sense geographically grouped along with it.

The peninsula is bordered by the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west, the Ionian Sea on the south, and the Adriatic Sea on the east. The backbone of the Peninsula consists of the Apennine Mountains, from which it takes one of its names. Most of its coast is lined with cliffs.

The Italian Peninsula's location between the centre of Europe and the Mediterranean Sea made it the target of many conquests.

The peninsula has mainly a Mediterranean climate, though in the mountainous parts the climate is much cooler, and its natural vegetation includes macchia along the coasts and deciduous and mixed deciduous coniferous forests in the interior.


  • Modern countries and territories 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Modern countries and territories

Political divisions of the peninsula sorted by area:

Peninsular area Description
Population[3] km2 sq mi Share
 Italian Republic 26,140,000 131,275 50,686 99.9531% Occupies almost the entire peninsula
 San Marino 31,887 61.2 23.6 0.0466% A north eastern enclave of peninsular Italy
  Vatican City 829 0.44 0.17 0.0003% An enclave of Rome, Italy

See also


  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).

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

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