Geographic map Italy

Country of oppositions

A look at the map of Italy immediately shows that the country is characterised by two big mountain ranges: the Alps in the north and the Apennine mountains along most parts of the peninsula. Surrounded by four seas on three sides, the land is mostly hilly with only few plain sections. High mountain panoramas, scenic hills and miles of sandy beaches are all part of the topographic variety of Italy.

Etna in Sicily Mt Etna

Idyllic mountain world of Italy

Despite many beaches, islands and the reputation of being a bathing paradise in the Mediterranean Sea, mountains and hills characterise the map of Italy. Two big mountain ranges define the country: the powerful mountain massif of the Alps in the north and the Apennine mountain range extending over two thirds of the peninsula. Both mountain ranges are the result of the African and European tectonic plates having been dominating the Italian countryside for 2 million years.

In the north, Italy shares some of the highest mountains of the Alps with its neighbouring countries France and Switzerland. The Aosta Valley is one of the country's mountainous highlights including the impressive Mont Blanc (4,897 m), Monte Rosa (4,633 m) and Matterhorn (4,478 m). The Dolomite Mountains in the northeast of Italy are at least as impressive being a tourist magnet for sportive guests and nature aficionados in both winter and summer.

The Apennine Mountains, however, run in curves for more than 1,350 kilometres from Genoa to Calabria hrough nearly two thirds of the country. Because of their shape and length, they are also often called the backbone of Italy. The highest elevation of the Apennine Mountains is the Corno Crande (2,913 m) in the Abruzzi.

Map of Italy: peninsula and bathing paradise

The map of Italy looks like a boot. Four different seas surround the peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea from three sides: The Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea in the south, and the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west. Italy shows great scenic diversity ranging from flat sandy beaches on Sardinia to the breathtaking rock cliffs round Amalfi. Italy is surrounded by an 8,000 kilometres long coast crowded with millions of beach tourists look for a well-needed timeout from the daily hustle and busty every year.

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