Italian Peninsula

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42°00′N 14°00′E / 42.000°N 14.000°E / 42.000; 14.000

Satellite view of the peninsula in March 2003

The Italian Peninsula (Italian: penisola italica or penisola italiana), also known as the Italic Peninsula, Apennine Peninsula or Italian Boot, is a peninsula extending from the southern Alps in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south.

Overview edit

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").[1] The backbone of the Italian Peninsula consists of the Apennine Mountains, from which it takes one of its names. The peninsula comprises much of Italy and also includes the microstates of San Marino and Vatican City.

Physical geography edit

 
Minimum extent (excluding Northern Italy) of the Italian Peninsula in dark green and maximum extent (including Northern Italy) in light green

Geographically, the minimum extent of the Italian Peninsula consists of the land south of a line extending from the Magra to the Rubicon rivers, north of the Tuscan–Emilian Apennines. It excludes the Po Valley and the southern slopes of the Alps.[2][3] The Italian Peninsula has the only active volcano on continental Europe, Mount Vesuvius.[4]

Political geography edit

In general discourse, "Italy" and the "Italian Peninsula" are often used as synonymous terms. However, Northern Italy may be excluded from the Italian Peninsula. From a political point of view, the Italian Peninsula in the strict sense (therefore excluding Insular Italy and Northern Italy[5]) is divided into various states listed in the following table:[6][7]

Country Population[8] Peninsular area Description
km2 sq mi Share
  Italy 26,140,000 131,275 50,686 99.9531% Effectively the entire peninsula
  San Marino 31,887 61.2 23.6 0.0466% A central-eastern enclave of peninsular Italy
  Vatican City 829 0.49 0.19 0.0003% An enclave of Rome, Italy

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "The BOOT of ITALY". Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  2. ^ De Agostini Ed., L'Enciclopedia Geografica – Vol. I - Italia, 2004, p. 78.
  3. ^ Touring Club Italiano, Conosci l'Italia – Vol. I: L'Italia fisica, 1957.
  4. ^ "Mount Vesuvius, Italy: Map, Facts, Eruption Pictures, Pompeii".
  5. ^ Vocabolario Treccani, Peninsulare
  6. ^ De Agostini Ed., L'Enciclopedia Geografica - Vol. I - Italia, 2004, p.78
  7. ^ Touring Club Italiano, Conosci l'Italia - Vol. I: L'Italia fisica, 1957
  8. ^ Population includes only the inhabitants of the Italian Peninsula, excluding Northern Italy and Insular Italy (Sardinia and Sicily).

External links edit