Italy Facts and Google Maps


The Italian peninsula, situated in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, boasts a rich and diverse history dating back to ancient times. It was once home to the Roman Empire, one of the world’s greatest and most renowned ancient civilizations, which left behind an impressive legacy that can still be seen and felt today. These include ruins of monumental architectural feats such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the aqueducts, to name a few.

Furthermore, the southern part of Italy, in particular, is home to two famous and active volcanoes, Vesuvius and Etna. Vesuvius, located near the ancient city of Pompeii, erupted in 79 AD, destroying the city and burying it under layers of ash and pumice. Meanwhile, the majestic Mount Etna, which towers over Sicily, is one of the tallest active volcanoes in Europe and is known for its frequent eruptions that have shaped the region’s landscape over time.


Despite these natural wonders, art, music, and literature have also shaped the Italian peninsula, producing talents such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Dante, and Verdi. The contributions made by these great minds have had a lasting impact on Italy and the world as a whole. Therefore, the Italian peninsula continues to be an important cultural hub with a fascinating history and beautiful landscapes that attract visitors worldwide.

Jump to Introduction, Geography, Climate, People & Society, Economy, Insight, Google Maps, Facts, and Did You Know about Italy. Or visit the driving directions page for routing instructions.


The geography of Italy is characterized by a striking contrast between its northern alluvial plain and the ruggedness of its southern regions. The backbone of this peninsula is formed by the Apennines, a range of mountains extending from the Alps into the Mediterranean Sea. These mountains run the peninsula’s length, dividing it east and west.

The Northern alluvial plain, characterized by low-lying fertile land, stretches from the Alps in the northwest to the Adriatic Sea in the east. It is here that some of Italy’s most important cities are located, such as Milan, Turin, Bologna, and Venice, which have played a crucial role in Italy’s economic development.

However, the Apennine Mountains dominate much of the Italian peninsula. High peaks and deep valleys characterize the central region of the Apennines. The landscape here is rugged and wild, with small, quaint mountain villages perched on hilltops offering stunning panoramic views.

Further south, the Apennines give way to rolling hills and plains. This area is known for its expansive olive groves and vineyards, producing some of Italy’s finest wines and olive oils. This region is also home to some of Italy’s most charming medieval towns, such as Assisi, Perugia, and Siena.

In addition, the Italian peninsula is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, which has shaped the culture and traditions of the people living along its coasts. Italy’s stunning coastline allows visitors to explore picturesque fishing villages, gorgeous beaches, and sparkling blue waters.

Overall, the Italian peninsula boasts an incredibly diverse geography, from the magnificent Apennine Mountains to the fertile alluvial plain in the north, with a beautiful Mediterranean coastline that adds to Italy’s already magical allure.


The climate of Italy is primarily influenced by its location in the Mediterranean region, resulting in a predominantly Mediterranean climate in the South. This climate is characterized by dry, hot summers and mild, rainy winters. The southern regions of Italy, including Sicily and Sardinia, also experience high sunshine throughout the year.

In stark contrast, the mountainous regions of Italy, particularly the Alps and the Apennines, experience much cooler and more unpredictable weather conditions. Seasonal extremes, with hot summers, cold winters, and significant temperature drops at night, characterize these regions. The snow-capped peaks of the mountains provide ample opportunities for winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding, attracting visitors worldwide.

The northern alluvial plain also experiences seasonal extremes in temperature and rainfall. Summers are hot and humid, while winters can be cold and foggy. Flooding is also common in this region, particularly during heavy rainfalls or when the rivers flood their banks.

In addition to these regional differences, Italy’s climate is influenced by local factors such as elevation, proximity to the sea, and prevailing winds. For example, coastal regions tend to have milder temperatures than inland areas, while the prevailing winds in the northwest can bring cooler air and increased rainfall.

Overall, the climate of Italy varies significantly depending on the region and time of year. However, whether you’re looking for beach weather or winter sports, Italy offers something for everyone, thanks to its diverse climates and landscapes.

People & Society

Italy is known for its historical and cultural diversity, but it remains relatively ethnically homogenous despite this. Most of the population is of Italian descent, with small minority groups including Eastern Europeans, North Africans, and Asians. However, within Italy, there is a clear divide between the prosperous and industrialized north and the poorer, agriculture-based South.

In the north, cities such as Milan and Turin are well-known fashion, finance, and industrial centers. This region has become a magnet for national and international investment due to its thriving economy and highly educated workforce. In contrast, the South is predominantly rural, with high unemployment rates and lower levels of education.

Despite these differences, regional identities remain strong across Italy, particularly on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. These regions have unique histories, dialects, and cultural traditions preserved despite centuries of unification under the Roman Empire and, later, the Italian state.

Family ties remain strong in Italy, with “famiglia” (family) central to Italian culture. This can be seen in the importance placed on family gatherings and the traditional social structures within Italian society. While the influence of the Roman Catholic Church has lessened in recent years, it still holds a significant role in Italian society and culture.

In summary, Italy’s ethnically homogeneous population masks significant regional differences, with a clear divergence between the wealthy north and the poorer South. Despite this, strong regional identities persist, with family ties remaining important in Italian society and the Roman Catholic Church continuing to play a crucial role in shaping Italian culture.

The Economy

Italy has a diverse economy with a strong focus on industrial and product design, fashion, and textiles. It is renowned worldwide for its high-end luxury brands, such as Gucci, Prada, and Armani. Italy’s thriving fashion industry is supported by a highly skilled workforce and a rich cultural heritage in art and design.

In addition to its fashion industry, Italy also has a well-established tourism industry that attracts millions of visitors each year. The country’s rich history, unique landscapes, and beautiful coastline make it an attractive destination for travelers worldwide. The Italian government has invested heavily in infrastructure development to support this key industry further.

Despite its strengths, however, Italy faces significant challenges when it comes to its economy. Italy has one of Europe’s largest public sector debts, which has led to multiple austerity packages and debt restructuring agreements in recent years. These measures have included deep cuts to social spending and pension reform, leading to widespread protests and public unrest.

Furthermore, despite repeated economic reforms, Italy’s GDP growth remains sluggish, and the country has struggled to create enough jobs to keep up with its growing population. This lack of job opportunities has led many young Italians to emigrate to other countries for better prospects, leading to an ongoing brain drain.

In conclusion, while Italy’s economy has many strengths, including its expertise in design and fashion, the country still needs to maintain sustained economic growth. Despite efforts to promote reforms and stimulate the economy, Italy’s large public sector debt, lack of job opportunities, and slow GDP growth continue to pose significant obstacles to its economic development.


Before the unification of Italy in the 1860s, the Italian peninsula was split into several different dukedoms, monarchies, and city-states. These regions developed distinct cultures and political systems, reflecting the region’s complex history.

One of the most notable of these states was the Republic of Venice, which at its height, controlled a vast empire on the Adriatic coast. Florence, in central Italy, was another major center of political and cultural influence, home to Renaissance artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.

Other important city-states included Genoa, Milan, Naples, and Sicily, each controlling their regions significantly. Many of these states were ruled by powerful families or dynasties who sponsored art, architecture, and literature and left a lasting legacy that can still be seen today.

Despite these regional differences, there was a growing sense of Italian nationalism in the 19th century, spurred in part by the works of writers such as Giuseppe Mazzini and Alessandro Manzoni. This sentiment ultimately led to the Risorgimento, a period of political upheaval and military action that culminated in the unification of Italy in 1861.

Italy’s diverse political history legacy can still be seen in the country’s regional identities, with each area maintaining its unique traditions and way of life. Despite these differences, Italy remains a united and influential nation with a rich cultural heritage, inspiring visitors and locals to explore its complex and fascinating history.

Google Maps


Name: Italy (Italian Republic), local name: Repubblica Italiana
Languages: Italian (official language), German (parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking), French (small French-speaking minority in Valle dAosta region), Slovene (Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area),
ISO code: it, internet: .it
Capital city: Rome, GPS: 41 54 N, 12 29 E
Time: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time) (+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October)
Population: 61,021,855 (2023 estimate) (Italian / Italian(s))
Urban population: 71.3% (2021) – 4.278 million, Rome (capital city), 3.144 million, Milan, 2.183 million, Naples, 1.795 million, Turin, 900,000 Bergamo, 850,000 Palermo (2021)
Location: Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia. Italy is a(n) European country. You may find 47 other countries on this continent.
Coordinates: 42 50 N, 12 50 E
Bordering countries: (6 nations): Austria 404 km, France 476 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.4 km, San Marino 37 km, Slovenia 218 km, Switzerland 698 km
Land area:  294,140 sq km
Water area: 7,200 sq km
Total area: 301,340 sq km – Almost twice the size of Georgia; slightly larger than Arizona.
Terrain: Mostly rugged and mountainous, with some plains, coastal lowlands
Highest point: Mont blanc (monte bianco) de courmayeur (a secondary peak of mont blanc) 4,748 m
Lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
Natural hazards: Regional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice volcanism: significant volcanic activity; Etna (3,330 m), which is in eruption as of 2010, is Europe’s most active volcano; flank eruptions pose a threat to nearby Sicilian villages; etna, along with the famous Vesuvius, which remains a threat to the millions of nearby residents in the bay of Naples area, have both been deemed decade volcanoes by the international association of volcanology and chemistry of the earth interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and proximity to human populations; stromboli, on its namesake island, has also been continuously active with moderate volcanic activity; other historically active volcanoes include Campi Flegrei, Ischia, Larderello, Pantelleria, Vulcano, and Vulsini.
National holiday(s): Republic Day, 2 June (1946)

Did you know about Italy?

  1. The Trevi Fountain in Rome is a popular tourist attraction, and it is said that throwing a coin into the fountain guarantees a return trip to Rome. It is estimated that over €3,000 is thrown into the fountain daily.
  2. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is not the only leaning tower in Italy. There are several other leaning towers, including the one in the town of Bologna, which is taller than the Tower of Pisa.
  3. Italy has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites of any country worldwide, with 58 sites.
  4. The University of Bologna, founded in 1088, is the oldest university in the Western world.
  5. The smallest country in the world, Vatican City, is located entirely within Rome. It has an area of only 0.44 square kilometers and is home to the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.

You may also be interested in Austria, France, Vatican City, San Marino, Slovenia, and Switzerland.

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