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Geography of Italy

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


Regions and capitals


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, arable land

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 Oxide Protocol, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds Protocol, 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

See also : Italy



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