The Italian Peninsula

Adriano Ribolini, Matteo Spagnolo, Carlo Giraudi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The main geomorphological, geological, and climatic features of the mountains of the Italian Peninsula are discussed. The Apennines are the dominated mountain range and given their arch-like shape represents the backbone of the peninsula, which has its southern termination in the mountains of Sicily.

After briefly commenting on the general geology, the variability of the climatic condition is illustrated, reporting annual average values of air temperature and precipitation. The geographical definition of the main mountain ranges, their altimetric variability, and the distance from the coasts complete this description. The main geomorphological landforms in the various mountain sectors are also commented, also providing relations with the regional geological characteristics. Among the several landforms, particular care is dedicated to the traces of past glaciations that have led to the discovery that glaciations affected the Italian Peninsula also before the Last Glacial Cycle.

Finally, the history of research on Apennine glaciations is briefly summarised starting from the first pioneering studies of the end of the 19th century. The controversies and the investigation criteria evolution are illustrated, along with the research difficulties imposed by the regional tectonics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Glacial Landscapes
Subtitle of host publicationMaximum Extent of Glaciations
EditorsDavid Palacios, Philip D. Hugues, José M. García-Ruiz, Nuria Andrés
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780128234983
ISBN (Print)9780128236079
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Regional geomorphology
  • climate condition
  • geological lineaments
  • former glaciers
  • Apennines


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