The Geography of Italy
The land and its features and inhabitants

Italy, Land Area: 116,305 sq mi (301,230 sq km), including the islands Sardinia and Sicily, just slightly larger than the U.S. state of Arizona. For a graphical representation, see: How Big is Italy?

Italy, Population: Just over 58 million people.

Italy Capital: Rome, population around 2.5 million within city limits--Italy's largest city.

Mountain Ranges: There are two major mountain ranges in Italy, the Alps and the Appennino or Apennines. The east-west trending Alps, divided into regions called, from west to east the Occidentali, the Centrali, and the Orientali, border with France, Austria and Switzerland. The backbone of Italy is formed by the north-south trending Appennino chain. You may hear of the Dolomites, which are really part of the Alps, located in the regions of South Tyrol, Trentino and Belluno The highest point in Italy is Mont Blanc, in the Alps at 15,770 feet.

Volcanoes: Vesuvius, near Naples, is the only active volcano on the European mainland. Mount Etna, on the island of Sicily, is one of the world's largest volcanoes.

Major Rivers: These important waterways correspond to major tourist destinations in Italy. 

The top three rivers take in much of the industrial north. The Po, which starts in the Alps and flows eastward from Turin to the Adriatic through the very fertile Po Valley. The Arno, which flows from the north-central Apennines through Florence and empties into the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the Tiber, which flows from the Apennines then south through Rome, emptying into the Tyrrhenian Sea. (Looking for a specific river in Italy? Check out Rivers of Italy.)