Italy offers a variety of environments unique in the world where the work of nature is intertwined with that of centuries of man creating landscapes of rare beauty. A heritage protected by 24 national parks and 847 protected areas for a total of 6 million hectares, between coasts, lands and marine areas, equal to 22% of the national territory.
Italy, with its particular physical conformation that resembles a boot, extends from the European continental mass towards the Mediterranean sea. Its political borders correspond largely to its natural borders: the Alpine arc to the north, and the sea along the coasts. The large neighboring islands, Sicily and Sardinia are also integrated in this well-defined unit. Its territory is rich in hills and mountains; about 40% of inhabited areas are located in the hills and another 40% in the mountains. At the foot of the Alps lies the Po Valley, a large alluvial area formed by the river Po and its tributaries. In the southern regions, bathed by a sea of crystalline waters, there are several active volcanoes. The most famous are the Vesuvius in Naples, and the Etna in Sicily that with its 3323 meters is the highest volcano in Europe.
The thousands of villages and small villages scattered from the mountain to the sea are the safe of Italian treasures and contribute to the protection and maintenance of the territory and the landscape.
Discover the most beautiful national parks in Italy
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