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Italy has been one of the pivotal countries in European history, starting from the times of the Roman Empire; as evidence of this it is the State with the greatest number of architectural, cultural and historical riches. The territory, although not as vast as other nations, has different aspects, such as the Alps to the north and the Apennines to the center-south, as well as more or less vast hilly areas and some plains (the Padana the largest); thousands of kilometers of coastline increase the variety of the landscapes of our Peninsula.
PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF ITALY
Italy is a peninsula located in southern Europe, in the center of the Mediterranean Sea. The territory includes the mountain ranges of the Alps and the Apennines; a few large rivers, the longest is the Po and many lakes (the largest is Lake Garda); numerous islands, including the large ones, Sicily and Sardinia and other 70 smaller ones. The Italian land area is 301,336 km2 (excluding the Republic of San Marino and the Vatican City state). The maximum length is 1,200 kilometers (Vetta d’Italia - Capo delle currente). The territory is mainly characterized by hilly and mountainous areas, respectively 41.6% and 35.2%. The extension of the coasts is very high, equal to approximately 8,300 kilometers. These territorial characteristics ensure a wide diversification of the landscape.
The climatic conditions are generally characterized by a temperate climate with regional variations. In summer, the northern regions are hot and occasionally rainy, the central regions are affected by humidity and the southern regions suffer from scorching heat. In winter, the cities of the North are characterized by cold, humidity and fog, while in the South the temperatures are much more comfortable (10-20 ° C).
Italy is among the richest in biodiversity in Europe, essentially by virtue of a favorable geographical position and a great geomorphological, microclimatic and vegetational variety, also conditioned by historical and cultural factors.
In particular, Italy has half of the plant species and a third of the animal species currently present in the European territory.
In Italy there is about 40% of the world's artistic heritage. It is currently the nation that holds the largest number of sites included in the list of World Heritage Sites (cities and cultural sites are included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites).
TOURISM IN ITALY
With over 46 million tourists a year, it is the 5th most visited country in the world, our artistic and cultural heritage is of the highest quality, and we can also count on splendid mountains, islands and beaches.
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