Apennine Mountains

Italy accounts for a large part of the Apennine Peninsula and vice versa.

Considered Apennines from the air

The Apennine Mountains (also the Apennines; Italian: gli Appennini ) is a 1,500 km long mountain range that runs through the named after him Apennine Peninsula ( Italian peninsula ) in northwest-southeast direction. This is formed by a large part of Italy and San Marino and the Vatican City.


The Apennines, about straddling the main watershed of Italy, begins in northwest Italy and forms in the Ligurian Apennines, the continuation of the Ligurian Alps. The boundary between Alps and Apennines forms the Col di Cadibona (436 m). From there the Apennines towards the east extends to the Adriatic coast, where it turns south and in Abruzzo with the massif of the Gran Sasso d' Italia ( 2912 m ) reaches its greatest height. Even further south, the Apennine divides into individual smaller mountainous parts like the Sila and Aspromonte and finds its continuation in the mountains of north Sicily.


The Apennine Mountains are a alpidisches cordillera, which owes its unfolding the collision of the African and Eurasian Plates. It consists of limestone, dolomite, sandstone, shale, marl and clay, partly of crystalline basement rocks.


In the Apennines there typical mountain climate with low temperatures, but drastic temperature fluctuations and high rainfall. In the hills and the foothills of the climate is Mediterranean influenced, with rainfall of about 800 mm and a marked summer drought. In the subalpine regions, the rainfall increases to more than 1300 mm, with a clear east-west difference.

Flora and Fauna

The vegetation of the coastal regions extends up to about 600 meters, where it merges into a belt of chestnut and oak trees, and even higher softwoods. The tree line is around 2000 m.

An endemic in the Apennines animal is the spectacled salamander. There also the Apennine wolf lives. The Bardigiano is the native horse breed.


The Apennines is crossed by many highways, such as routes Milano-Genova (A7 ), Parma -La Spezia ( A15), Bologna - Florence (A1 ) ( Autostrada del Sole ) or Pescara - Rome ( A24/A25 ). Most passports are between 500 and 1000 m, some even higher. The railway Bologna - Florence crossed the mountains in 1934 opened 18.5 km long Apennine Base Tunnel.