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The territory and frontiers of Italy

Weather Sottomarina di Chioggia
Map Italy Chioggia sottomarina lido

Italy has a total surface area of around 322,000 km2, while its politically boundaries encompass an area of 301,277 km2. Along the alpine arch, Italy borders France (west Italy), Switzerland and Austria (north Italy) and Slovenia (east Italy). The maritime border is made of the following; on the west, there are the Ligurian Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea and the Sardinian Sea (which takes its name from the island); to the south there is the Sicilian Sea, the Ionian Sea; and to the east, there is the Adriatic Sea, which also includes numerous islands and archipelagos.


The Italian coasts are characterised both by low and regular tides (especially on the Adriatic side, where Sottomarina is) as well as very high cliffs and jagged coastlines which form numerous bays and gulfs (of Genoa, Gaeta, Naples, Salerno, Taranto, Trieste, Venice, Policastro, Sant'Eufemia, Squillace, Manfredonia).


The raising of the Alps and the Apennines took place following the Alpine-Himalayan joining of the Cainozoic period. The physiognomy of the country became better defined in the Neogene period, following various eruptions, and the formation took place first as the result of the glaciers, then water and flood deposits which created the planes. The Italian territory was formed largely by accident, which is why 80% of it is hills and mountains, whereas 20% of it is flat.


The climate changes notably from zone to zone, but above all from North to South, not so much in summer, but in winter: apart from the mountainous areas, Milan has an average temperature in July of 24, whereas Palermo has 26; in January, the average temperatures are 1 or 2 in Milan, and 12 in Palermo. With respect to winds, Italy remains in the area of influence of the western, eastern and southern winds, which are pluvial winds. Between winter and spring, the winds also blow from the north to north east (bora). In summer, along the coast and in the valleys between the mountains, light winds prevail.


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