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Italy Geography

    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, dwindling natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, coal

    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 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

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)