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The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula (Italian: Penisola italiana, Penisola appenninica) is a large peninsula of Southern Europe. It extends into the Mediterranean Sea, with the Ionian and Adriatic Seas on the east and the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west. It is located in 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").
Penisola italiana, Penisola appenninica, Terraferma, Continente, lo Stivale (Italian)
Satellite view of the peninsula in March 2003.
Italian Peninsula in dark green
|Area||150,000 km2 (58,000 sq mi)|
(44% of Italy's area)
|Highest point||Corno Grande|
|Largest settlement||Itself (City-state)|
|Pop. density||199.27/km2 (516.11/sq mi)|
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 mainly has the 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.
|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|
- De Agostini Ed., L'Enciclopedia Geografica - Vol. I - Italia, 2004, p.78
- Touring Club Italiano, Conosci l’Italia - Vol. I: L’Italia fisica, 1957
- Population includes only the inhabitants of mainland Italy (excluding Northern Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, San Marino, and Vatican City).