Italy Geography and Climate

Italy is a classic country for tourists. It is simply impossible to see all the sights of the once mighty Roman Empire in a short period of time. Therefore, those who have been here at least once will strive to return to Italy again. In addition to countless cultural monuments and the ruins of ancient Roman civilization, the country has excellent natural conditions – the snow-white slopes of the Alpine mountains, the beautiful beaches of the Adriatic and Mediterranean coasts and the charming lakes of the north.

Italy is washed by three seas at once, which expands the possibilities of a beach holiday. Italy has the largest number of ski resorts that are available for vacationers of different levels of fitness and wealth. The tourist infrastructure in the country is well developed.

If the purpose of a trip to Italy is an excursion program, then the time of year to visit is any. If there is a desire to combine excursions with a beach holiday, then the period from May to September inclusive is preferable. Ski resorts in Italy are open to tourists all year round.

The official language is Italian. English, French and German are understood in almost all tourism-related business. The Russian language is understood by some souvenir merchants.

Geography in Italy

According to top-engineering-schools, Italy is located in the south of Europe. The area of the country is 301302 sq. km. In the north it borders with Switzerland (740 km) and Austria (430 km), in the east – with Slovenia (232 km), in the northwest – with France (488 km). In the east it is washed by the Adriatic Sea, in the south – by the Ionian and Mediterranean Seas, in the west – by the Tyrrhenian, Ligurian and Mediterranean Seas. Italy also owns the islands of Elba, Sicily and Sardinia, as well as several small islands.

Two independent states – San Marino and the Vatican – are located on the territory of the Apennine Peninsula and are completely surrounded by Italy.

More than half of the country’s territory is located on the Apennine Peninsula. In the north are the Italian Alps with the highest point in the country – Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco, 4807 m). On the territory of Italy there are also mountains Monte Rosa (4634 m) and Monte Cervino (4478 m). The Apennines stretch from the Gulf of Genoa to the Gulf of Taranta in Calabria. They are not as high as the Alps. The highest point of the Apennines is Mount Corno (2914 m). Only about a third of the country’s territory is occupied by plains. The largest of them – the Lombard (Padana) plain – lies between the Alps and the Apennines. In addition to the Lombard Plain, the flat part is the coast of the Adriatic Sea, as well as three narrow flat strips along the western coast: Campagna di Roma, Pontine Marshes and Maremma.

Through Italy a large number of rivers flow, the most important of which are the Po and Adige, located in the north of the country and flowing into the Adriatic Sea. Smaller rivers are the Tiber and Arno. Italy also has a large number of lakes, the largest being Garda, Lago Maggiore, Como and Lugano in the north and Trasimeno, Bolsena and Bracchiano in the south.

On the island of Sicily, which is separated from the mainland by the narrow Strait of Messina, there is an active volcano Etna (3323 m).

Climate in Italy

The diversity of Italy’s climate is determined by its territorial extent in longitude. In northern Italy, the climate type is transitional, from subtropical to temperate continental. On the Padan Plain in January, at night the temperature drops to zero and even slightly negative levels, in the daytime it is only 4… 6 degrees Celsius. In winter, snow almost always falls, which does not melt for several weeks and, due to the stagnation of cold air flowing from the Alps, fogs are often observed. In the warmest month – July – even at night the temperature is +18… +20, during the day the air warms up to +30. The least precipitation falls in the period from January to March (monthly amount of about 50 mm), most of all in October and November (from 100 to 115 mm per month).

In the highlands of the Alps and the Apennines, the climate varies from temperate at the foot of the mountains to cold at the peaks. Temperature decreases with height and interdiurnal contrasts increase. In the mountains, snow lasts up to 6 months, it lies constantly on the peaks, heavy snowfalls are frequent from October to May.

In terms of climatic features, the Apennine Peninsula and the island of Sardinia are typically Mediterranean regions with warm and mild winters and hot and dry summers. On the coast in January, the temperature is already positive at night (+1…+4), although there are frosts, up to +10 in the daytime, in July at night +17…+19, in the daytime +27…+29. July is the driest month (20 mm), the period from October to December is the rainiest (an average of 75 to 100 mm of precipitation falls per month).

On the island of Sicily, and this is the southernmost territory of the country, it is much warmer. In January (the coldest month of the year), night temperatures are +7…+9, daytime temperatures are +13…+16, in July it is very hot (at night +19…+23, in the daytime +30… +32 degrees).

From March to October dry hot winds blow from the Sahara – sirocco. During this period, the temperature often rises to +35 C. The

least precipitation falls in summer (from June to August no more than 15 mm), most of all from October to February (average 80 mm, in some places more than 100 mm).

The water temperature in the period from January to April is 14… 16 degrees, from May to August it rises from 16… 17 to 25… 26, after which it gradually decreases, remaining quite comfortable until October (23… 25 degrees), in November and December its value is 18 … 21 degrees.

Best time to visit:
If the purpose of a trip to Italy is an excursion program, then the time of year to visit is any. If there is a desire to combine excursions with a beach holiday, then the period from May to September inclusive is preferable. Ski resorts in Italy are open to tourists all year round.

Italy Geography