Opinions on Italian Peninsula

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Main article: Italy
"Lo Stivale" redirects here. For the Canadian newspaper, see Lo Stivale (newspaper).

The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula (Italian: Penisola italiana, Penisola appenninica) is the central and the smallest of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe (the other two being the Iberian Peninsula and Balkan Peninsula), spanning 1,000 km (620 mi) from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale (The Boot). Three smaller peninsulas contribute to this characteristic shape, namely Calabria (the "toe"), Salento (the "heel") and Gargano (the "spur").

Geographically it coincides with a line extending from the Magra to the Rubicon rivers, north of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, which excludes the Po Valley and the southern slope of the Alps. All of the peninsula is part of the state of Italy except for the microstates of San Marino and Vatican City. Additionally, Sicily, Elba and other smaller islands, such as Palagru┼ża (Italian: Pelagosa), belonging to Croatia, are usually considered as islands off the peninsula and in this sense geographically grouped along with it.

The peninsula is bordered by the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west, the Ionian Sea on the south, and the Adriatic Sea on the east. The backbone of the Peninsula consists of the Apennine Mountains, from which it takes one of its names. Most of its coast is lined with cliffs.

The Italian Peninsula's location between the centre of Europe and the Mediterranean Sea made it the target of many conquests.

The peninsula has mainly a Mediterranean climate, though in the mountainous parts the climate is much cooler, and its natural vegetation includes macchia along the coasts and deciduous and mixed deciduous coniferous forests in the interior.


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