Italy is located in Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia.
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Italy is located in Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia. In an area slightly larger than Arizona, its total area includes 301,230 sq. km, enrapturing both Sardinia and Sicily. The following are geographical facts about Italy:
Its climate is predominantly Mediterranean with Alpine conditions in the far north and hot and dry conditions in the south.
Italyâs terrain is mostly rugged and mountainous, with some central plains and coastal lowlands.
Its lowest point is at the Mediterranean Sea and its highest point being Mont Blanc at 4,807 meters.
Italyâs natural resources are:
crude oil reserves
Italy, as we know it today, was the result of the collision of the Eurasian and African tectonic plates, eventually forming the Apennines Mountains, which dominate central Italy. The Apennines, whose characteristic limestone forms the backbone of the peninsula. The Italian Peninsula once lay adjacent to France and Spain, but it has rotated anticlockwise through nearly ninety degrees, and continues to move about one inch a year. The Ionian Sea, lying between southern Italy and Western Greece, is the deepest part of the Mediterranean Sea. It covers a basin that is subsiding in front of the Aegean plate as the plate moves gradually southwest. The rocks of southeast Sicily include a small portion of Africa that has become detached, providing further evidence of rifting and rupturing. Sardinia, like its northern neighbor Corsica, is an uplifted splinter of the most ancient rock foundations.
Below the towering Alps spreads the plain of the river Po. The flat, low-lying expanses are prone to flooding. Huge quantities of sediment have been washed into what was once a shallow arm of the Adriatic Sea. The basin has subsided; the accumulated sediments of clay, sand and gravel are now up to six miles deep.
Some of Italyâs peaks dominate their surroundings in a highly active way. Live volcanoes such as Etna and Vesuvius continue to menace local inhabitants. The rich soil that volcanoes have created over the centuries provides good farming land. But in spite of this, much of the Southern part of Italy is hard to farm, with erosion destroying a lot of the landâs surface. In the north however, The Po River, Italyâs largest, continually brings water and fertility to its huge valley, where farms produce sizable crops of cereal and rice. With its fertile plains, and bare clay hills, its high mountains and over 1800 miles of coastline, it is a land of dramatic regional contrasts. These contrasts make themselves felt in all aspects of Italian life, from tradition and history, to food. The north is rich, productive and bustling, especially in itâs âindustrial triangleâ, between Turin, Milan and Livonia. The south is generally poorer, harsher, and hotter.
Built on the famous âSeven Hillsâ, Rome and its empire was one of the greatest forces for change Europe has ever known. Wherever the Roman Legions took their armies, their contributions to civilized society went as well. This included central heating, a legal system, and most importantly, a public water system. Rome was able to spread its boundaries through its vast aqueduct system that stretched throughout its empire. Wherever the water could flow, land could be developed. Most of their knowledge came from the previous settlers called the Etruscans. They taught the Romans to develop their mining systems and introduced the horse-drawn carriage. These were two very important aspects of the geographical development of Italy.
The rise of the city-states after the fall of Rome revolved around the geographical location of its cities. Ports such as Venice and Genoa prospered. The power of Italyâs medieval cities grew in the North, dominating the countryside and taking advantage of the sloping hills in battle. Cities such as Venice, Milan, and Florence emerged as great powers.
Italyâs complex coastlines and numerous islands demonstrate the long history of volcanic activity in the region. Although destructive in nature, it has afforded most of Italyâs landscape with some of the most fertile land in the region. Spring in Tuscany, in the northern part of Italy, is still one of the most beautiful sights in the world.
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