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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Italy Geography

Italy    Geography Top of Page
Location: Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia
Geographic coordinates: 42 50 N, 12 50 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total:  301,230 sq km

land:  294,020 sq km

water:  7,210 sq km

note:  includes Sardinia and Sicily
Area - comparative: slightly larger than Arizona
Land boundaries: total:  1,932.2 km

border countries:  Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 232 km, Switzerland 740 km
Coastline: 7,600 km
Maritime claims: continental shelf:  200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

territorial sea:  12 NM
Climate: predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south
Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands
Elevation extremes: lowest point:  Mediterranean Sea 0 m

highest point:  Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) 4,807 m
Natural resources: mercury, potash, marble, sulfur, natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, coal, arable land
Land use: arable land:  31%

permanent crops:  10%

permanent pastures:  15%

forests and woodland:  23%

other:  21% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 27,100 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: regional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice
Environment - current issues: air pollution from industrial emissions such as sulfur dioxide; coastal and inland rivers polluted from industrial and agricultural effluents; acid rain damaging lakes; inadequate industrial waste treatment and disposal facilities
Environment - international agreements: party to:  Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified:  Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: strategic location dominating central Mediterranean as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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