of Italy

Location: Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia

Map references: Europe
total area: 301,230 sq km
land area: 294,020 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than Arizona
note: includes Sardinia and Sicily

Land boundaries: total 1,899.2 km, Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 199 km, Switzerland 740 km

Coastline: 4,996 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south

Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands Natural resources: mercury, potash, marble, sulfur, dwindling natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, coal

Land use:
arable land: 32%
permanent crops: 10%
meadows and pastures: 17%
forest and woodland: 22%
other: 19%

Irrigated land: 31,000 sq km (1989 est.)

Environment: current issues: air 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

natural hazards: regional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice

international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Desertification

Note: strategic location dominating central Mediterranean as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe

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