Italy is a peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea. Its most prominent feature is its boot-like shape kicking the island of Sicily. About 75% of Italy is mountainous or hilly, and roughly 20% of the country is forested. There are narrow strips of low-lying land along the Adriatic coast and parts of the Tyrrhenian coast.

The Dolomite Mountains which extend across northern Italy are part of the Alps mountain range. The Apennine mountains cut down the centre of Italy, stretching from north to south, dividing the east and west coasts. The Po Valley, just south of the Dolomite Mountains, is the basin of the Po River. It is the richest part of the country, with the best farmland and the largest industrial centres. Other than the Po and Adige, Italy has primarily smaller rivers, among which, the Arno and the Tiber are the best known.

Marmolata – Dolomites

Marmolata – Dolomites - source

Italy includes two large islands: Sicily and Sardinia. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, and has active volcanoes and earthquakes. Sardinia is basically a mountain range rising out of the ocean. There are several active volcanoes in Italy: Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe, Vulcano, Stromboli and Vesuvius, the only active volcano on the mainland of Europe.

The climate in Italy is highly diverse and can be far from the stereotypical Mediterranean climate depending on the location. In summer the Northern parts of Italy are warm with occasional rainfall. But temperatures can reach below the freezing during the winters, with snow. The coastal regions have mild winters and warm and generally dry summers.


Etna - source