Italian geographical region

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The Italian geographical region (aka Italian physical region or Italian region) is a geographical region of Southern Europe and Western Europe delimited to the north and west by the chain of the Alps. This region is composed of a continental part in the north, a peninsular part and an insular part in the south. Located between the Balkan Peninsula and the Iberian Peninsula, it overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and in particular the Adriatic Sea, the Ionian Sea, the Ligurian Sea, the Sardinian Channel, the Sea of Corsica, the Sea of Sardinia, the Strait of Sicily, and the Tyrrhenian Sea.

The Italian geographic region,[1][2] in its traditional and most widely accepted extent, has an area of approximately 324,000 square kilometres (125,000 sq mi),[1] which is greater than the area of the entire Italian Republic (301,338 square kilometres (116,347 sq mi)). The region also includes territories which are part of Croatia, France, Slovenia, and Switzerland, as well as four small independent states: the Principality of Monaco, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of San Marino, and the Vatican City State (the Holy See).[3]

Geography

Regione geografica italiana.png

Physical geography

In common language, the Italian region generally refers to the Italian Peninsula. Similarly, the inhabitants of the islands use the term continent to designate the mainland that goes from the Alps to Reggio Calabria. In reality, the Italian region includes a continental part, a peninsular part and an insular part.

Continental part

The continental part, delimited to the north by the Alpine watershed, corresponds to about 40% of the Italian region and is located in the north of an imaginary line that goes from the mouth of the Magra river to that of the Rubicone river. Most of them are made up of the water catchment areas of the Po, Adige, Brenta, Piave, Tagliamento and Isonzo rivers. From the continental part, however, some Alpine valleys are excluded which, although they are part of the Italian State, such as the Val di Lei tributary of the North Sea through the Rhine river, the Val di Livigno, the Sella di Dobbiaco and the Tarvisio basin to the north-east of the Camporosso saddle, tributaries of the Black Sea through rivers affluent of the Danube.

Peninsular part

The Italian Peninsula, or the Italic Peninsula or the Apennine Peninsula, is a peninsula on the European continent crossed by the Apennine chain and delimited by four seas: the Ligurian Sea, the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea. Together with the Iberian Peninsula and the Balkan Peninsula, they are the three peninsulas that make up Southern Europe.

Actually, the peninsula in the geographical sense begins from the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines, starting from an imaginary line that goes from the mouth of the Magra river to that of the Rubicone river, and extends to the extreme southern offshoot of Capo Spartivento in Calabria. The peninsula has an extension of about 1.000 kilometre (0.621 mi) in a north-west / south-east direction. The closest large islands, Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica, are not part of it. The peninsula corresponds to about 45% of the Italian geographical region.

Insular part

The island part extends over an area of about 60.000 square kilometres (23.166 sq mi) (about 18% of the whole Italian region), of which 58.000 square kilometres (22.394 sq mi) for Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Outside these large islands, numerous smaller islands, often grouped in archipelagos, are found along the Italian coast, mostly in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The list below shows the largest islands belonging to the Italian geographical region:

Name Area Sea Country
Sicily 25,460 km2 (9,830 sq mi) Mediterranean, Ionian  Italy
Sardinia 24,090 km2 (9,300 sq mi) Mediterranean, Tyrrhenian  Italy
Corsica[4][5] 8,681 km2 (3,352 sq mi) Mediterranean, Tyrrhenian  France
Cherso/Cres 406 km2 (157 sq mi) Adriatic  Croatia
Malta 246 km2 (95 sq mi) Mediterranean  Malta
Elba 223 km2 (86 sq mi) Tyrrhenian  Italy
Sant'Antioco 109 km2 (42 sq mi) Mediterranean  Italy
Pantelleria 83 km2 (32 sq mi) Mediterranean  Italy
Lussino/Lošinj[notes 1] 74 km2 (29 sq mi) Adriatic  Croatia
Gozo 64 km2 (25 sq mi) Mediterranean  Malta
San Pietro 51 km2 (20 sq mi) Mediterranean  Italy

Notes

  1. ^ L'appartenenza o meno delle isole di Cherso, Lussino e Veglia alla regione geografica italiana varia a seconda delle fonti. In particolare taluni vedono le prime due come continuazione naturale della penisola istriana, essendo tra l'altro Cherso e Lussino più vicine alla costa istriana che a quella dalmata, a differenza di Veglia. Inoltre varie isole minori mostrano una continuità tra Veglia e Arbe, isola nettamente dalmata.[translation needed]

References

  1. ^ a b De Agostini Ed., L'Enciclopedia Geografica - Vol.I - Italia, 2004, p. 78
  2. ^ Mauri, A., La presentazione di una storia delle frontiere orientali italiane: una occasione per riflettere sulle determinanti storiche, economiche e geopolitiche dei confini, Working Paper n. 2007-41, Università degli Studi di Milano, 2007
  3. ^ "Archives historiques de la Suisse italienne" ("Archivio Storico della Svizzera Italiana"), Volumes 9-11, Université de Californie, 1934
  4. ^ Italia nell'Enciclopedia Treccani
  5. ^ Italia nell'enciclopedia "Sapere" - DeAgostini