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Italy Geography Profile 2013

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LocationSouthern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia
Geographic coordinates42 50 N, 12 50 E
Map referencesEurope
Areatotal: 301,340 sq km
land: 294,140 sq km
water: 7,200 sq km
note: includes Sardinia and Sicily
Area - comparativeslightly larger than Arizona
Land boundariestotal: 1,899.2 km
border countries: Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 199 km, Switzerland 740 km
Coastline7,600 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climatepredominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south
Terrainmostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands
Elevation extremeslowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) de Courmayeur 4,748 m (a secondary peak of Mont Blanc)
Natural resourcescoal, mercury, zinc, potash, marble, barite, asbestos, pumice, fluorspar, feldspar, pyrite (sulfur), natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, arable land
Land usearable land: 22.57%
permanent crops: 8.37%
other: 69.07% (2011)
Irrigated land39,510 sq km (2007)
Total renewable water resources191.3 cu km (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 45.41 cu km/yr (24%/43%/34%)
per capita: 789.8 cu m/yr (2008)
Natural hazardsregional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice
volcanism: significant volcanic activity; Etna (elev. 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's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close 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
Environment - current issuesair pollution from industrial emissions such as sulfur dioxide; coastal and inland rivers polluted from industrial and agricultural effluents; acid rain damaging lakes; inadequate industrial waste treatment and disposal facilities
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notestrategic location dominating central Mediterranean as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe

Source: CIA World Factbook
Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of February 21, 2013