Regional Geography of Italy


  1. Physical Characteristics
  2. Human Characteristics
  3. Economic Characteristics
  4. References

Physical Characteristics

Italy is a country located in the southern part of Europe that contains 20 different regions. The Mediterranean Sea is just South of Italy so that makes it a Mediterranean country. Italy is known as the boot country because the mainland is a peninsula so it makes a tall boot shape. The region of Puglia makes up the heel (of the boot) and the Calabria region makes up the toe of the boot. (TripSavvy) The countries of Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria, and France are neighbors of Italy.

Italy is a peninsula with the Tyrrhenian, Adriatic, and Mediterranean Seas surrounding each coast. There are two major mountain ranges in Italy that are the Alps, and Appennino. The Alps are run north to south and the Appennino run west to east. The highest peak of Italy is at 15,770 feet and the lowest is at sea level. There are many lakes in Italy and three major rivers- the Tiber, Po, and Arno. (TripSavvy)

Italy has a Mediterranean climate in the peninsula areas. The temperature in the ‘boot’ range between 28-40 degrees Celsius during the summer months. The mainland and northern parts of Italy have cold, humid winters in the mountains and gets hot and dry in the summer. The mountains get snow while the coast remains hot during the winters in Italy. The sky near the mountains usually remain clear and sunny and then throughout the day there can be a few isolated thunderstorms. According to my travel book (Fordors Florence and Tuscany, pg. 17) it is said the best times to visit Italy are in the spring and fall due to the beautiful warm day and the cool nights.

Human Characteristics

There is approximately 60.6 million people living in Italy in the year 2018 according to the Population Reference Bureau. Around 13% of that population are younger than 15 years of age and 23% are over the age of 65. There is about 917 population per a square kilometer of Arable land in Italy. In the year 2018 there is an estimated 80 births being male and 85 being female, while about 20 males being 65+ and 22 females. (2018 World Population Data Sheet)

The people of Italy mostly speak the Italian language, so about 60 million native speakers. The Italian language is a part of the Romance language of the world. Romance languages are mostly located in the Western and Southern parts of Europe and the other languages include French, Spanish, Romanian, Portuguese, etc. Italy’s main religion Is Catholicism. Christianity is the main religion in Europe and 48% of Europe’s population are Catholic. (Fundamentals of World Regional Geography, pgs. 104-106)

The Indo-Europeans were the first people to arrive and settle in the country of Italy. (Fundamentals of World Regional Geography, pg. 103) Now about 92% of the people living in Italy are Italians. There are also a little over 1% that are Romanian or Arabic. The other groups of Italy that each make up less than 1% are Albanian, Han Chinese, and Ukrainian. (Largest Ethnic Groups Of Italy)

Economic Characteristics

Italy is one of the top four of the largest economies in Western Europe. Italy joined the European Union in 1958. (Fundamentals of World Regional Geography, pg. 114) Being a part of the European for Italy means that the 28 countries are basically under one control, although they are all still separate countries. It is comparable with the United States, there are different states and laws but under one main government. That also means that they use the Euro as a form of currency. One Euro is equivalent to $1.12 in United States dollars.

Italy trades with the US, France, Germany, Spain, etc. for different goods. Italy exports motor vehicles, clothing, machinery, and textiles. The goods that are imported to Italy are chemicals, minerals, food, tobacco, etc. The challenges with trade in Italy is the landscape. The mountains make it difficult to make trade fast and simple. (Italy Trade, Exports and Imports)

According to the Population Reference Bureau the GNI for Italy is $40,030 per capita (2018 World Population Data Sheet). The website did not include a GNP but if you were to do the math 40,030 X 60.6 million is around 2.4 trillion dollars. Italy is known for their great economy and the GNI and GDP numbers prove it.


Blackman, Peter, and Patricia RucidloFodors Florence & Tuscany:Fodors, 2017

Hobbs, Joseph J. Fundamentals of World Regional Geography (Fourth Edition). Cengage Learning, 2017.

“Italian Geography Map, Facts, and Climate.” TripSavvy,

Italy Trade, Exports and Imports. (n.d.). Retrieved from

“Map.” 2018 World Population Data Sheet,

Sawe, Benjamin Elisha. “Largest Ethnic Groups Of Italy.” WorldAtlas, 18 Aug. 2016, “Italy.” WeatherOnline,

Submitted by Sarah Hunt on April 13, 2019.