The dramatic geography of Italy is characterised by the mountain ranges of the Apennines and the Italian Alps, the islands of Sicily and Sardinia and the industrial heart of the country in the Po Valley. These strikingly different geographical regions have gifted Italy with a diverse range of cultures and traditions.
The highest mountain in Italy, Mont Blanc, straddles the western border with France and the largest city is Rome on the western coast of the peninsula. The volcanic spine of the country has several active volcanoes and Mount Etna can be found on the southern island of Sicily. The longest river in Italy is the Po (405 miles) which bisects the country from west to east from the Alps to the Adriatic sea just south of Venice.