Italy - Geography
Is located in southern Europe and comprises the long, boot-shaped Italian Peninsula, the land between the peninsula and the Alps, and a number of islands including Sicily and Sardinia. Its total area is 301 230 km².
The geographical features of Italy are varied; the south-western corner of the country is enveloped by Tyrrhenian Sea, while Adriatic Sea takes care of its north-eastern parts. The south-eastern Ionian Sea and the Ligurian Sea located in north-west Italy encircle the country from al possible sides and act as a shield of safety for Italy.
Italy is a mountainous country, with the Alps as the northern boundary and the Apennine Mountains forming the backbone of the peninsula, but in between the two lies a large plain in the valley of the Po, the largest river in Italy, which flows 652 km (405 miles) eastward from the Cottian Alps to the Adriatic.
Mont Blanc, popularly known as Monte Bianco, 4810 meters or 5,781 feet above sea levels, is the highest Italian mountain summit. The Italian plain known as the Padan Plain is drained by the longest river of Italy - the Po (652 km) and its numerous tributaries and distributaries, most of Italy's rivers drain either into the Adriatic Sea (like Po, Piave, Adige, Reno) or into the Thyrrenian (like Arno, Tiber and Volturno), though the waters from some border municipalities (Bormio in Lombardy, Innichen and Toblach in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol) drain into the Black Sea through the basin of the Danube, and the waters from the Lago di Lei in Lombardy drain into the North Sea through the basin of the Rhine. Including islands, Italy has a coastline of 7 600 km on the Adriatic, Ionian, Tyrrhenian (740 km), France (488 km), Austria (430 km), Slovenia (232 km)and Switzerland. San Marino (39 km) and the Vatican City (3.2 km), both entirely surrounded by Italy, account for the remainder.There are also a few active volcanoes in Italy: Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe; Vulcano; Stromboli; and Vesuvius, the only active volcano on the mainland of Europe.
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