The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula (Italian: Penisola italiana, Penisola appenninica) extends 1,000 km (620 mi) from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south (about 44% of total Italy's area). 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, the Italian Peninsula consists of the land south of a line extending from the Magra to the Rubicon rivers, north of the Tuscan–Emilian Apennines. It excludes the Po Valley and the southern slopes of the Alps. All of the peninsula lies within the territory of the Italian Republic except for the microstates of San Marino and Vatican City. Additionally, Sicily, Elba and other smaller islands, such as Palagruža (Italian: Pelagosa), (which belongs to Croatia) are usually considered as islands off the peninsula and in this sense geographically grouped along with it.
The peninsula lies between the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west, the Ionian Sea on the south, and the Adriatic Sea on the east. The backbone of the Italian Peninsula consists of the Apennine Mountains, from which it takes one of its names. Most of its coast is lined with cliffs.
The peninsula has mainly a Mediterranean climate, though in the mountainous parts the climate is much cooler. Its natural vegetation includes macchia along the coasts and deciduous and mixed deciduous coniferous forests in the interior.
Penisola italiana, Penisola appenninica, Terraferma, Continente, lo Stivale (Italian)
Satellite view of the peninsula in March 2003.
Italian Peninsula in dark green
|Area||150,000 km2 (58,000 sq mi)|
(44% of Italy's area)
|Highest point||Corno Grande|
|Largest settlement||Itself (City-state)|
|Pop. density||199.27 /km2 (516.11 /sq mi)|
Political divisions of the peninsula sorted by area:
|Italy||60,589,445||131,275||50,686||99.9531%||Effectively the entire peninsula|
|San Marino||31,887||61.2||23.6||0.0466%||A central-eastern enclave of peninsular Italy|
|Vatican City||829||0.44||0.17||0.0003%||An enclave of Rome, Italy|
The Adriatic or Apulian Plate is a small tectonic plate carrying primarily continental crust that broke away from the African plate along a large transform fault in the Cretaceous period. The name Adriatic Plate is usually used when referring to the northern part of the plate. This part of the plate was deformed during the Alpine orogeny, when the Adriatic/Apulian Plate collided with the Eurasian plate.
The Adriatic/Apulian Plate is thought to still move independently of the Eurasian Plate in NNE direction with a small component of counter-clockwise rotation. The fault zone that separates the two is the Periadriatic Seam that runs through the Alps. Studies indicate that in addition to deforming, the Eurasian continental crust has actually subducted to some extent below the Adriatic/Apulian Plate, an unusual circumstance in plate tectonics. Oceanic crust of the African Plate is also subducting under the Adriatic/Apulian Plate off the western and southern coasts of the Italian Peninsula, creating a berm of assorted debris which rises from the seafloor and continues onshore. This subduction is also responsible for the volcanics of southern Italy.
The eastern Italian Peninsula, the coastal part of Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea are on the Adriatic/Apulian Plate. Mesozoic sedimentary rocks deposited on the plate include the limestones that form the Southern Calcareous Alps.Cispadane Republic
The Cispadane Republic (Italian: Repubblica Cispadana) was a short-lived republic located in northern Italy, founded in 1796 with the protection of the French army, led by Napoleon Bonaparte. In the following year, it was merged with the Transpadane Republic (until recently the Duchy of Milan) to form the Cisalpine Republic. These were French client states organized by Napoleon after the Battle of Lodi in May 1796. The republic's name refers to the "near side" of the River Po.Corsican Republic
In November 1755, Pasquale Paoli proclaimed Corsica a sovereign nation, the Corsican Republic (Italian: Repubblica Corsa), independent from the Republic of Genoa. He created the Corsican Constitution, which was the first constitution written in Italian under Enlightenment principles, including the first implementation of female suffrage, later revoked by the French when they took over the island in 1769. The republic created an administration and justice system, and founded an army.Duchy of Benevento
The Duchy of Benevento (after 774, Principality of Benevento) was the southernmost Lombard duchy in the Italian peninsula, centered on Benevento, a city in Southern Italy. Being cut off from the rest of the Lombard possessions by the papal Duchy of Rome, Benevento was practically independent from the start. Only during the reigns of Grimoald, King of the Lombards and the kings from Liutprand on was the duchy closely tied to the kingdom. After the fall of the kingdom, however, alone of Lombard territories it remained as a rump state, and maintained its de facto independence for nearly three hundred years, though it was divided after 849.
Paul the Deacon refers to Benevento as the "Samnite Duchy" (Ducatum Samnitium) after the region of Samnium.Duchy of Friuli
The Duchy of Friuli was a Lombard duchy in present-day Friuli, the first to be established after the conquest of the Italian peninsula in 568. It was one of the largest domains in Langobardia Major and an important buffer between the Lombard kingdom and the Slavs, Avars, and the Byzantine Empire. The original chief city in the province was Roman Aquileia, but the Lombard capital of Friuli was Forum Julii, modern Cividale.
Along with the dukes of Spoleto, Benevento and Trent, the lords of Friuli often attempted to establish their independence from the royal authority seated at Pavia, though to no avail. After the Lombard campaign of Charlemagne and the defeat of King Desiderius in 774, the last Friulian duke Hrodgaud ruled until 776. Upon his death, Friuli was incorporated as a march of the Carolingian Empire.Duchy of Reggio
The Duchy of Reggio was one of the states that belonged to the Duchy of Modena and Reggio, ruled by the House of Este, in the north of Italy, in a territory now belonging to the Province of Reggio Emilia. The capital was Reggio.
The perimeter of the duchy was from the Apennines to the river Po. The ancient borders were with the County of Novellara and Bagnolo (ruled by a branch of the House of Gonzaga), and the County of Guastalla, the Principality of Correggio, the Duchy of Modena and Garfagnana, all ruled by the dukes of Este. Other neighbour states were those of Lucca, Tuscany, the Duchy of Parma and the Marquisate of Mantua.Duchy of Sorrento
The Duchy of Sorrento was a small peninsular principality of the Early Middle Ages centred on the Italian city of Sorrento.
Originally, Sorrento was part of the Byzantine Duchy of Naples in the Dark Ages, but in the ninth century, along with Amalfi and Gaeta, it broke away from the Neapolitans to found its own ducatus (or republic). However, it mostly remained under Amalfi and only one independent duke is known from this period, a Sergius in the late ninth century.
In 1035, it was conquered by the Lombards under Guaimar IV of Salerno and bestowed on his younger brother Guy, who ruled it until the 1070s. Not long after that, it was annexed by the Normans.
In 1119, a certain Sergius undersigned a diploma of William II, Duke of Apulia, as "Prince of Sorrento."Etruria
Etruria (; usually referred to in Greek and Latin source texts as Tyrrhenia Greek: Τυρρηνία) was a region of Central Italy, located in an area that covered part of what are now Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria.Italians
The Italians (Italian: Italiani [itaˈljaːni]) are a Romance ethnic group and nation native to the Italian peninsula and its neighbouring insular territories. Most Italians share a common culture, history, ancestry or language. Legally, all Italian nationals are citizens of the Italian Republic, regardless of ancestry or nation of residence (in effect, however, Italian nationality is largely based on jus sanguinis) and may be distinguished from people of Italian descent without Italian citizenship and from ethnic Italians living in territories adjacent to the Italian Peninsula without Italian citizenship. The majority of Italian nationals are speakers of Italian, or a regional variety thereof. However, many of them also speak another regional or minority language native to Italy; although there is disagreement on the total number, according to UNESCO there are approximately 30 languages native to Italy (often misleadingly referred to as "Italian dialects").In 2017, in addition to about 55 million Italians in Italy (91% of the Italian national population), Italian-speaking autonomous groups are found in neighbouring nations: almost a quarter million are in Switzerland, a large population is in France, the entire population of San Marino, and there are smaller groups in Slovenia and Croatia, primarily in Istria (Istrian Italians) and Dalmatia (Dalmatian Italians). Because of the wide-ranging diaspora, about 5 million Italian citizens and nearly 80 million people of full or partial Italian ancestry live outside their own homeland, which include the 62.5% of Argentina's population (Italian Argentines), 1/3 of Uruguayans (Italian Uruguayans), 40% of Paraguayans (Italian Paraguayans), 15% of Brazilians (Italian Brazilians, the largest Italian community outside Italy), and people in other parts of Europe bordering Italy, the Americas (such as Italian Americans, Italian Canadians and Italo-Venezuelans among others), Australasia (Italian Australians and Italian New Zealanders), and the Middle East.
Italians have greatly influenced and contributed to diverse fields, notably the arts and music, science and technology, fashion, cuisine, sports, jurisprudence, banking and business both abroad and worldwide. Furthermore, Italian people are generally known for their localism, both regionalist and municipalist.Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples (Latin: Regnum Neapolitanum; Catalan: Regne de Nàpols; Spanish: Reino de Nápoles; French: Royaume de Naples; Italian: Regno di Napoli) comprised that part of the Italian Peninsula south of the Papal States between 1282 and 1816. It was created as a result of the War of the Sicilian Vespers (1282–1302), when the island of Sicily revolted and was conquered by the Crown of Aragon, becoming a separate Kingdom of Sicily. Naples continued to be officially known as the Kingdom of Sicily, the name of the formerly unified kingdom. For much of its existence, the realm was contested between French and Spanish dynasties. In 1816, it was reunified with the island kingdom of Sicily once again to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.Ligurian Republic
The Ligurian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Ligure) was a short-lived French client republic formed by Napoleon on 14 June 1797. It consisted of the old Republic of Genoa which covered most of the Ligurian region of Northwest Italy, and the small Imperial fiefs owned by the House of Savoy inside its territory. Its first Constitution was promulgated on 22 December 1797, establishing a Directorial republic. The directory was deposed on 7 December 1799 and the executive was temporarily replaced bij a commission. In 1800 a doge was nominated for 5 years. In 1802 he was nominated for life.
The Republic was briefly occupied by the Austrian forces in 1800, but Napoleon soon returned with his army. A new Constitution was published in 1801, establishing institutions more similar to those of the previous Genoan Republic, with a Doge who was president of a Senate. The Ligurian Republic used the traditional Genoese flag, a red cross on a white background.
In June 1805, Genoa was annexed by the French.Longobardia
Longobardia (Greek: Λογγοβαρδία, also variously Λογγιβαρδία, Longibardia and Λαγουβαρδία, Lagoubardia) was a Byzantine term for the territories controlled by the Lombards in Italy. In the 9th-10th centuries, it was also the name of a Byzantine military-civilian province (or thema) known as the Theme of Longobardia located in southeastern Italy.Lucania (theme)
Lucania was a Byzantine province (theme) in southern Italy that was probably established c. 968, under Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas. It was situated between the two older Byzantine provinces of Longobardia in the east and Calabria in the west, and was formed to encompass the areas in the mostly Lombard-populated theme of Longobardia where Byzantine Greeks from Calabria had settled in the early 10th century (the regions of Latinianon, Lagonegro and Mercurion). Tursi was chosen as the theme's capital and also as the seat of a new metropolitan bishopric to encompass the province. The theme of Lucania was probably under the overall authority of the Catepan of Italy at Bari.
The province corresponds roughly to the modern Italian region of Basilicata.Marquisate of Ceva
The Marquisate of Ceva was a small independent state in north-western Italy, situated at the foot of the Apennines, with its seat at Ceva, in what is now a part of Piedmont.Republic of Lucca
The Republic of Lucca was a historic state of Italy, which lasted from 1160 to 1805 on the central Italian peninsula.Rete Ferroviaria Italiana
Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) is the Italian railway infrastructure manager, subsidiary of Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), a state-owned holding company. RFI is the owner of Italy's railway network, it provides signalling, maintenance and other services for the railway network. It also operates train ferries between the Italian Peninsula and Sicily.
RFI was founded on 1 July 2001 following the European directive on rail transport, imposing a separation between the owner and the user of the network. The Italian rail network used to be managed by Ferrovie dello Stato until 2001.Sovana
Sovana is a small town in southern Tuscany, Italy, a frazione of Sorano, a comune in the province of Grosseto.Tiberina Republic
The so-called Tiberina Republic (Italian: Repubblica Tiberina) was a revolutionary municipality proclaimed on 4 February 1798, when republicans took power in the city of Perugia. It was an occupation zone that took its name from the river Tiber. A month later, the government of all the Papal States was changed into a republic: the Roman Republic, which Perugia belonged to. Its head was a consul and it used a tricolor similar to the French flag.Transpadane Republic
The Transpadane Republic (Italian: Repubblica Transpadana) was a revolutionary, provisional and internationally unrecognized government established in Milan by General Napoleon Bonaparte.