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Italy Italian Italia republic in southern Europe bounded on the north by Switzerland and Austria on the east by Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea on the south by the Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea on the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea the Ligurian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea and on the northwest by France It comprises in addition to the Italian mainland the Mediterranean islands of Elba Sardinia and Sicily and many lesser islands Enclaves within mainland Italy are the independent countries of San Marino and Vatican City the latter is a papal state mostly enclosed by Rome the capital and largest city of Italy The area of Italy is 301302 sq km 116333 sq mi Land and Resources More than half of Italy consists of the Italian Peninsula a long projection of the continental mainland Shaped much like a boot the Italian Peninsula extends generally southeast into the Mediterranean Sea From northwest to southeast the country is about 1145 km about 710 mi long with the addition of the southern peninsular extremity which extends north to south it is about 1360 km about 845 mi long The maximum width of the mainland portion of Italy is about 610 km about 380 mi in the north the maximum width of the peninsula is about 240 km about 150 mi On the northern frontiers are the Alps which extend in a wide arc from Ventimiglia on the west to Gorizia on the east and include such high peaks as Monte Cervino 4478 m14692 ft and Monte Rosa which rises to its highest point 4634 m15203 ft in Switzerland just west of the border The highest point in Italy is near the summit of Mont Blanc Monte Bianco on the border of Italy France and Switzerland the peak located in France is 4807 m 15771 ft Between the Alps and the Apennines which form the backbone of the Italian Peninsula spreads the broad Plain of
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