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The Apennines or Apennine Mountains (; grc-gre, links=no, Ἀπέννινα ὄρη or Ἀπέννινον ὄρος; la, Appenninus or  – a singular with plural meaning;''Apenninus'' (Greek or ) has the form of an adjective, which would be segmented ''Apenn-inus'', often used with nouns such as ("mountain") or Greek (), but ''Apenninus'' is just as often used alone as a noun. The ancient Greeks and Romans typically but not always used "mountain" in the singular to mean one or a range; thus, "the Apennine mountain" refers to the entire chain and is translated "the Apennine mountains". The ending can vary also by gender depending on the noun modified. The Italian singular refers to one of the constituent chains rather than to a single mountain, and the Italian plural refers to multiple chains rather than to multiple mountains. it, Appennini ) are a
mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and alignment that have arisen from the same cause, us ...

mountain range
consisting of parallel smaller chains extending along the length of
peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical body Astronomy (from el ...

peninsula
r
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
. In the northwest they join with the
Ligurian Alps, it, Alpi Liguri , photo=AlpiLiguri0001.jpg , photo_caption= , country_type= Countries , country= , subdivision1_type= regions of Italy, Region, regions of France, Région , subdivision1= , parent= Alps , borders_on= , geology= , orog ...
at
Altare Altare ( lij, Artâ, pms, Latè, L’Atæ in local dialect) is a ''comune The (; plural: ) is a local administrative division of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is ...

Altare
. In the southwest they end at
Reggio di Calabria Reggio di Calabria ( scn, label= Reggino, Rìggiu; el, label= Bovesia Calabrian Greek The Calabrian dialect of Greek language, Greek, or Grecanico
, the coastal city at the tip of the peninsula. Since 2000 the Environment Ministry of Italy, following the recommendations of the Apennines Park of Europe Project, has been defining the Apennines System to include the mountains of north
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
, for a total distance of . The system forms an arc enclosing the east side of the Ligurian and
Tyrrhenian Sea The Tyrrhenian Sea (; it, Mar Tirreno , french: Mer Tyrrhénienne , sc, Mare Tirrenu, co, Mari Tirrenu, scn, Mari Tirrenu, nap, Mare Tirreno) is part of the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by ...
s. The Apennines conserve some intact ecosystems that have survived human intervention. In these are some of the best preserved forests and montane grasslands in Europe, now protected by
national parks#REDIRECT National park A national park is a park in use for Conservation (ethic), conservation purposes, created and protected by national governments. Often it is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state dec ...
and, within them, a high diversity of flora and fauna. These mountains are one of the last refuges of the big European predators such as the
Italian wolf The Italian wolf (''Canis lupus italicus'' or ''Canis lupus lupus''), also known as the Apennine wolf, is a subspecies of the grey wolf native to the Italian Peninsula The Italian Peninsula (Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, f ...
and the
marsican brown bear The Marsican brown bear (''Ursus arctos arctos'', formerly ''Ursus arctos marsicanus''), also known as the "Apennine brown bear", and in Italian, is a critically endangered population In biology, a population is a number of all the organ ...
, now extinct in the rest of
Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both ...

Central Europe
. The mountains lend their name to the Apennine peninsula that forms the major part of Italy. They are mostly verdant, although one side of the highest peak,
Corno Grande Corno Grande ( Italian for "great horn") is the highest point in the Apennine Mountains The Apennines or Apennine Mountains (; grc-gre, links=no, Ἀπέννινα ὄρη or Ἀπέννινον ὄρος; la, Appenninus or  – a singul ...

Corno Grande
, is partially covered by
Calderone glacier The Calderone glacier ( it, Ghiacciaio del Calderone) is a glacier A glacier ( or ) is a persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight. A glacier forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its Ablation#Glaciolo ...
, the only
glacier A glacier (; ) is a persistent body of dense ice Ice is into a state. Depending on the presence of such as particles of soil or bubbles of air, it can appear transparent or a more or less bluish-white color. In the , ice is abunda ...

glacier
in the Apennines. The eastern slopes down to the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest ...

Adriatic Sea
are steep, while the western slopes form foothills on which most of peninsular Italy's cities are located. The mountains tend to be named from the province or provinces in which they are located; for example, the Ligurian Apennines are in
Liguria it, Ligure , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 ...

Liguria
. As the provincial borders have not always been stable, this practice has resulted in some confusion about exactly where the montane borders are.


Etymology

The etymology most frequently repeated, because of its semantic appropriateness, is that it derives from the
Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: ...
''penn'', "mountain, summit": which could have been assigned during the Celtic domination of north Italy in the 4th century BC or before. The name originally applied to the north Apennines. However, historical linguists have never found a derivation with which they all agree. Wilhelm Deecke said: is doubtful but some derive it from the Ligurian-Celtish ''Pen'' or ''Ben'', which means mountain peak." A large number of place names seem to reflect ''pen'': Penarrig, Penbrynn, Pencoid, Penmon, Pentir, etc. or ''ben'': Beanach, Benmore, Benabuird, Benan, Bencruachan, etc. In one derivation ''Pen/Ben'' is cognate with
Old Irish Old Irish (''Goídelc''; ga, Sean-Ghaeilge; gd, Seann Ghàidhlig; gv, Shenn Yernish or ; Old Irish: ᚌᚑᚔᚇᚓᚂᚉ), sometimes called Old Gaelic, is the oldest form of the Goidelic The Goidelic or Gaelic languages ( ga, teangacha ...
''cenn'' "head", but an original ''*kwen-'' would be required, which is typologically not found in languages that feature labio-velars.
Windisch Windisch is a Municipalities of Switzerland, municipality in the district of Brugg District, Brugg in the Cantons of Switzerland, canton of Aargau in Switzerland. Etymology Windisch is situated at the site of the Roman legion camp Vindonissa. Or ...
and reconstructed
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...
''*kwi-'', deriving also the Greek
Pindus Mountains The Pindus (also Pindos or Pindhos) ( el, Πίνδος; sq, Pindet; rup, Pindu) is a mountain range located in northern Greece and southern Albania. It is roughly 160 km long, with a maximum elevation of 2,637m (Smolikas, Mount Smolikas). ...
from the same root, but ''*kwen-'' < ''*kwi-'' is not explained by any rule. By some, English ''pin'', as well as ''pen'' and Latin ''pinna'' or ''penna'' "feather" (in the sense of the horn of the quill) have been connected to the name. This view has the word originating in
Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding it, whose territory large ...
inconsistently with the theory of the northern origin. None of these derivations are unquestionably accepted.


Geography

The Apennines are divided into three sectors: northern (), central (), and A number of long hiking trails wind through the Apennines. Of note is
European walking route E1 The E1 European long-distance path, or just E1 path, is one of the European long-distance paths designated by the European Ramblers' Association. It has a total length of some . It begins in Norway at Nordkapp, and crosses the Kattegat between Swede ...
coming from northern Europe and traversing the lengths of the northern and central Apennines. The
Grand Italian Trail The Grand Italian Trail (Italian: Sentiero Italia) is a 6166-kilometer-long hiking trail that crosses the entire territory of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country co ...
begins in
Trieste Trieste ( , ; sl, Trst ; german: Triest ) is a city and seaport The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (wher ...

Trieste
and after winding through the Alpine arc traverses the entire Apennine system, Sicily and Sardinia.


Northern Apennines

The northern Apennines consist of three s: the Ligurian (), Tuscan-Emilian (), and Umbrian Apennines ()..


Ligurian Apennines

The Ligurian Apennines border the
Ligurian Sea 300px, The Ligurian Sea The Ligurian Sea ( it, Mar Ligure; french: Mer Ligurienne; lij, Mâ Ligure) is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin ...
in the
Gulf of Genoa 400px, Gulf of Genoa The Gulf of Genoa (''Golfo di Genova'') is the northernmost part of the Ligurian Sea. This Italian gulf is about wide from the city of Imperia in the west to La Spezia in the east. The largest city on its coast is Genoa, wh ...
, from about
Savona Savona (; local lij, Sann-a , lij, label=Genoese dialect, Genoese, Savonn-a) is a seaport and ''comune ''in the west part of the northern Italy, Italian region of Liguria, capital of the Province of Savona, in the Riviera di Ponente on th ...

Savona
below the upper Bormida River valley to about
La Spezia La Spezia (, or , ; in the local Spezzino dialect) is the capital city of the province of La Spezia and is located at the head of the Gulf of La Spezia in the southern part of the Liguria region of Italy. La Spezia is the second largest city ...

La Spezia
( La Cisa pass) below the upper
Magra __NOTOC__ The Magra is a long river of Northern Italy, which runs through Pontremoli, Filattiera, Villafranca in Lunigiana and Aulla in the province of Massa-Carrara (Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note ...
River valley. The range follows the
Gulf of Genoa 400px, Gulf of Genoa The Gulf of Genoa (''Golfo di Genova'') is the northernmost part of the Ligurian Sea. This Italian gulf is about wide from the city of Imperia in the west to La Spezia in the east. The largest city on its coast is Genoa, wh ...
separating it from the upper
Po Valley The Po Valley, Po Plain, Plain of the Po, or Padan Plain ( it, Pianura Padana , or ''Val Padana'') is a major geographical feature of Northern Italy Northern Italy ( it, Italia settentrionale, it, Nord Italia, label=none, it, Alta Italia, ...
. The northwestern border follows the line of the Bormida River to
Acqui Terme Acqui Terme (; pms, Àich ) is a city and ''comune'' in the province of Alessandria, Piedmont, northern Italy. It is about south-southwest of Alessandria. It is one of the principal winemaking communes of the Italian wine, Italian DOCG wine ...
. There the river continues northeast to
Alessandria Alessandria (; pms, Lissandria ) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a local administrative division of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consis ...
in the
Po Valley The Po Valley, Po Plain, Plain of the Po, or Padan Plain ( it, Pianura Padana , or ''Val Padana'') is a major geographical feature of Northern Italy Northern Italy ( it, Italia settentrionale, it, Nord Italia, label=none, it, Alta Italia, ...
, but the mountains bend away to the southeast. The upper Bormida can be reached by a number of roads proceeding inland at a right angle to the coast southwest of
Savona Savona (; local lij, Sann-a , lij, label=Genoese dialect, Genoese, Savonn-a) is a seaport and ''comune ''in the west part of the northern Italy, Italian region of Liguria, capital of the Province of Savona, in the Riviera di Ponente on th ...

Savona
, the chief one being the Autostrada Torino-Savona. They ascend to the Bocchetta di
Altare Altare ( lij, Artâ, pms, Latè, L’Atæ in local dialect) is a ''comune The (; plural: ) is a local administrative division of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is ...

Altare
, sometimes called
Colle di Cadibona Colle di Cadibona - - is a mountain pass between Savona and Altare in the Ligurian Alps, delineating the boundary with the Apennine Mountains. It is also known as ''Bocchetta di Altare''. On the south-eastern side of the Alps Godovič Pass ( ...
, , the border between the
Ligurian Alps, it, Alpi Liguri , photo=AlpiLiguri0001.jpg , photo_caption= , country_type= Countries , country= , subdivision1_type= regions of Italy, Region, regions of France, Région , subdivision1= , parent= Alps , borders_on= , geology= , orog ...
along the coast to the west and the Ligurian Apennines. A bronze plaque fixed to a stone marks the top of the pass. In the vicinity are fragments of the old road and three ruins of former fortifications. At
Carcare Carcare ( lij, Cancre, pms, Cärcre, locally ''Corcre'') is a ''comune'' (municipality) in the Province of Savona in the Italy, Italian region Liguria, located about west of Genoa and about northwest of Savona. Carcare borders the following muni ...
, the main roads connect with the upper Bormida valley (Bormida di Mallare) before turning west. The
Scrivia The Scrivia, long, is a right tributary A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem ...
, the
Trebbia The Trebbia (stressed ''Trèbbia''; la, Trebia) is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the ...

Trebbia
and the
Taro ''Colocasia esculenta'' is a tropical plant grown primarily for its edible corm A corm, bulbo-tuber, or bulbotuber is a short, vertical, swollen underground plant stem '' has lost its leaves, but is producing adventitious rootsImportant ...
, tributaries of the
Po River The Po ( , ; la, Padus or ; grc, Πάδος, Pádos, or , ; Ancient Ligurian: or ) is the longest river in Italy. It is a river that flows eastward across northern Italy starting from the Cottian Alps; it, Alpi Cozie , photo=Monviso_Cottian ...
, drain the northeast slopes. The range contains dozens of peaks. Toward the southern end the Aveto Natural Regional Park includes . Nearby is the highest point of Ligurian Apennines, at . The main and only feasible overland route connecting the coastal plain of Liguria to the north Italian plain runs through Bocchetta di Altare. It has always been of strategic importance. Defenders of north Italy have had to control it since ancient times, as the various fortifications placed there testify.
Trenitalia Trenitalia is the primary train operator in Italy. A subsidiary of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, itself owned by the Italian government, the company was established in 2000 following a European Union The European Union (EU) is a polit ...

Trenitalia
, the state railway system, highly developed on the coastal plain, now traverses the mountains routinely through a number of railway tunnels, such as the one at
Giovi Pass The Giovi Pass is a pass in Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the Alps, a Italian Peninsula, penins ...
. The southeastern border of the Ligurian Apennines is the Fiume
Magra __NOTOC__ The Magra is a long river of Northern Italy, which runs through Pontremoli, Filattiera, Villafranca in Lunigiana and Aulla in the province of Massa-Carrara (Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note ...
, which projects into the Tyrrhenian Sea south of
La Spezia La Spezia (, or , ; in the local Spezzino dialect) is the capital city of the province of La Spezia and is located at the head of the Gulf of La Spezia in the southern part of the Liguria region of Italy. La Spezia is the second largest city ...

La Spezia
, and the Fiume
Taro ''Colocasia esculenta'' is a tropical plant grown primarily for its edible corm A corm, bulbo-tuber, or bulbotuber is a short, vertical, swollen underground plant stem '' has lost its leaves, but is producing adventitious rootsImportant ...
, which runs in the opposite direction to join the Po. The divide between the two upper river valleys is the
Cisa Pass The Cisa Pass or La Cisa Pass is a mountain pass in Italy that marks the division between the Ligurian and Tuscany, Tuscan Apennines. It is located on the border between northern Tuscany (Province of Massa-Carrara) and Emilia-Romagna (Province o ...
. Under it (in two tunnels) runs the Autostrada della Cisa between Spezia and
Parma Parma (; egl, Pärma, ) is a city in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its architecture, Giuseppe Verdi, music, art, prosciutto (ham), Parmigiano-Reggiano, cheese and surrounding countryside. With a population of 198,292 ...

Parma
.


Tuscan–Emilian Apennines

Starting at
Cisa Pass The Cisa Pass or La Cisa Pass is a mountain pass in Italy that marks the division between the Ligurian and Tuscany, Tuscan Apennines. It is located on the border between northern Tuscany (Province of Massa-Carrara) and Emilia-Romagna (Province o ...
, the mountain chain turns further to the southeast, to cross the peninsula along the border between the
Emilia-Romagna Emilia-Romagna (, , both also ; ; egl, Emégglia-Rumâgna or ''Emîlia-Rumâgna''; rgn, Emélia-Rumâgna) is one of the 20 Regions of Italy, administrative regions of Italy, situated in the north of the country, comprising the historical regions ...

Emilia-Romagna
and
Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = Italian , demogra ...
regions. They are named the Tuscan–Emilian Apennines west of the
Futa Pass The Futa Pass or La Futa Pass. ( it, Passo della Futa) is a pass (geography), pass in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, at an elevation of . It is located in the ''comune'' of Firenzuola, in the Metropolitan City of Florence. It separated the valleys of ...
and the Tuscan–Romagnol Apennines east of it, or just the Tuscan Apennines. They extend to the upper
Tiber River The Tiber (; la, Tiberis; it, Tevere ) is the third-longest river in Italy and the longest in Central Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains The Apennines or Apennine Mountains (; grc-gre, links=no, Ἀπέννινα ὄρη or Ἀπ ...
. The highest point is
Monte Cimone Monte Cimone is the highest mountain in the northern Apennines The Apennines or Apennine Mountains (; grc-gre, links=no, Ἀπέννινα ὄρη or Ἀπέννινον ὄρος; la, Appenninus or  – a singular with plural meaning;'' ...

Monte Cimone
at . A separate branch, the
Apuan Alps The Apuan Alps ( it, Alpi Apuane) are a mountain range in northern Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship ...
, goes southwest, bordering the coast south of
La Spezia La Spezia (, or , ; in the local Spezzino dialect) is the capital city of the province of La Spezia and is located at the head of the Gulf of La Spezia in the southern part of the Liguria region of Italy. La Spezia is the second largest city ...

La Spezia
. Whether they are to be considered part of the Apennines is a matter of opinion; certainly, they are part of the Apennine System. Topographically only the valley of the River
Serchio The Serchio (; la, Auser) is the third longest river in the Italian region of Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = ...
, which running parallel to the coast turns and exits into the Tyrrhenian Sea north of
Pisa Pisa ( , or ) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides essential public ser ...

Pisa
, separates the Apuan Alps from the Apennines; geologically the rock is of a slightly different composition,
marble Marble is a metamorphic rock , a type of metamorphic rock Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock (geology), rock to new types of rock, in a process called metamorphism upright=1.35, Schematic representation of ...

marble
. The Roman marble industry was centered at
Luna Luna commonly refers to: * Earth's moon, named "Luna" in Latin * Luna (goddess), the ancient Roman personification of the Moon Luna may also refer to: Places Philippines * Luna, Apayao * Luna, Isabela * Luna, La Union * Luna, San Jose Romania * ...
, and is now active in
Carrara Carrara ( , ; ) is a city and ''comune'' in Tuscany, in central Italy, of the province of Massa and Carrara, and notable for the white or blue-grey marble quarried there. It is on the Carrione River, some Boxing the compass, west-northwest of ...

Carrara
. As the Tuscan Apennines divide the peninsula between the
Po Valley The Po Valley, Po Plain, Plain of the Po, or Padan Plain ( it, Pianura Padana , or ''Val Padana'') is a major geographical feature of Northern Italy Northern Italy ( it, Italia settentrionale, it, Nord Italia, label=none, it, Alta Italia, ...
and the plains and hills of
Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = Italian , demogra ...
and
Lazio Lazio (, ; ; la, Latium, ) is one of the 20 Regions of Italy, administrative regions of Italy. Situated in the Central Italy, central peninsular section of the country, it has 5,864,321 inhabitants – making it the second most populated region o ...

Lazio
, transportation over them has been used to achieve political and economic unity. Historically the Romans used the
Via Flaminia The ''Via Flaminia'' or Flaminian Way was an ancient Roman road Roman roads ( la, viae Romanae ; singular: ; meaning "Roman way") were physical infrastructure vital to the maintenance and development of the Roman state, and were built from ab ...

Via Flaminia
between
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
and
Rimini Rimini ( , ; rgn, Rémin; la, Ariminum) is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy and capital city of the Province of Rimini. It sprawls along the Adriatic Sea, on the coast between the rivers Marecchia (the ancient ''Ariminus ...

Rimini
. The montane distance between
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Al ...

Florence
in
Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = Italian , demogra ...
and
Bologna Bologna (, , ; egl, label=Bolognese Bologna (, , ; egl, label=Bolognese dialect, Bolognese, Bulåggna ; lat, Bonōnia) is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. It is the seventh most populous ...

Bologna
in
Emilia-Romagna Emilia-Romagna (, , both also ; ; egl, Emégglia-Rumâgna or ''Emîlia-Rumâgna''; rgn, Emélia-Rumâgna) is one of the 20 Regions of Italy, administrative regions of Italy, situated in the north of the country, comprising the historical regions ...

Emilia-Romagna
is shorter, but exploitation of it required the conquest of more rugged terrain, which was not feasible for the ancients. Railway lines were constructed over the mountains in the early 19th century but they were of low capacity and unimprovable. Since 1856, a series of tunnels have been constructed to conduct "the Bologna-Florence rail line", which is neither a single line nor a single tunnel. The Porrettana Line went into service in 1864, the Direttissima in 1934 and the High Speed in 1996. A few dozen tunnels support the three of them, the longest on the High-Speed Line being the Voglia Tunnel at . The longest is on the Direttissima, the Great Apennine Tunnel, which at is the longest entirely within Italy, although the
Simplon Tunnel #REDIRECT Simplon Tunnel #REDIRECT Simplon Tunnel, it, Galleria del Sempione , line = Simplon line, ( Lötschberg railway line) , location = Traversing the Lepontine Alps between Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse( ...
, which connects Italy and Switzerland, is longer.Claims of being the longest or second-longest in the world have been soon outdated. See
List of longest tunnels This list of longest tunnels ranks tunnels that are at least long. Only continuous tunnels are included. Pipelines, even those that are buried, are excluded. The longest tunnels have been constructed for water distribution, followed by tunnels ...
.
Automobile traffic is carried by the Autostrada del Sole, Route A1, which goes through numerous shorter tunnels, bypassing an old road, originally Roman, through Futa Pass. In December 2015, a new Route A1 called
Variante di Valico Variante di Valico (number A1 var) is a deviation of the Italian A1 Motorway (Italy), A1 motorway opened to traffic on 23 December 2015, between La Quercia and Aglio in central Italy. The entire project covers a length of 62.5 km, of which 37& ...
was opened after many years of construction consisting of major tunnels (the longest being the new 'Tunel Base') and new overpasses, shortening the traveling time between Florence and Bologna by road. The
Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona, Campigna National Park The Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona, Campigna is a list of national parks in Italy, national park in Italy. Created in 1993, it covers an area of about , on the two sides of the Apennine watershed between Romagna and Tusca ...
is in the southern part of the Tuscan–Romagnol Apennines. The southern limit of the Tuscan–Romagnol Apennines is the Bocca Serriola Pass in northern
Umbria it, Umbro (man) it, Umbra (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , ...

Umbria
, which links
Fano Fano is a town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides essential public services: Civil ...

Fano
and
Città di Castello Città di Castello (); "Castle Town") is a city and ''comune'' in the province of Perugia, in the northern part of Umbria. It is situated on a slope of the Apennine Mountains, Apennines, on the flood plain along the upper part of the river Tiber. T ...
. The
Tiber River The Tiber (; la, Tiberis; it, Tevere ) is the third-longest river in Italy and the longest in Central Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains The Apennines or Apennine Mountains (; grc-gre, links=no, Ἀπέννινα ὄρη or Ἀπ ...
at
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
flows from in the Tuscan-Romagnol Apennine from northeast to southwest, projecting into the Tyrrhenian Sea at right angles to the shore. The upper Tiber, however, flows from northwest to southeast, gradually turning through one right angle clockwise. The northern Tiber valley is deep and separates the Apennines on the left bank from a lesser range, the Tuscan
Anti-Apennines The Apennines or Apennine Mountains (; grc-gre, links=no, Ἀπέννινα ὄρη or Ἀπέννινον ὄρος; la, Appenninus or  – a singular with plural meaning;''Apenninus'' (Greek or ) has the form of an adjective, which woul ...
(Sub-Apennines) on its right.


Central Apennines

The Apennine System forms an irregular arc with centers of curvature located in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The northern and southern segments comprise parallel chains that can be viewed as single overall mountain ridges, such as the Ligurian Mountains. The center, being thicker and more complex, is geologically divided into an inner and an outer arc with regard to the centers of curvature. The geologic definition, however, is not the same as the geographic. Based on rock type and orogenic incidents, the northern segment of the arc is divided into the Outer Northern Apennines (ONA) and the Inner Northern Apennines (INA).. The Central Apennines are divided into the Umbrian–Marchean () or Roman Apennines in the north and the Abruzzi Apennines () in the south. It extends from Bocca Serriola pass in the north to Forlì pass in the south.


Umbria-Marche Apennines

The west border of the Umbria-Marche Apennines (or )) runs through
Cagli Cagli is a town and ''comune'' in the province of Pesaro e Urbino, Marche, central Italy. It c. south of Urbino. The Burano (river), Burano flows near the town. History Cagli occupies the site of an ancient village on the Via Flaminia, which ...

Cagli
. They extend south to the
Tronto The Tronto ( la, Truentus) is a long Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance langua ...
River, the south border of the ONA. The highest peak,
Monte Vettore Monte Vettore (from Latin ''Vector'', "carrier", "leader") is a mountain of the Apennine Mountains, Apennines. It is the highest peak of the Sibillini mountains, Sibillini massif. Geography The southwestern side of Sibillini massif, Vector, is i ...

Monte Vettore
, at , is part of the
Monti Sibillini The Sibillini Mountains, or Sibylline Mountains (Italian language, Italian: ''Monti Sibillini'') are one of the major mountain groups of italic peninsula, part of Apennine Mountains, Apennines mountain range. Most of the peaks are over ; the highe ...
, incorporated into Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini. Further north is the , in which are the Gola della Rossa ("Red Gorge") and Frasassi Caves. Still further north is Parco Sasso Simone e Simoncello. The Italian Park Service calls it the "green heart" of Italy. The region is heavily forested, such as the Riserva Naturale Statale Gola del Furlo, where
Furlo Pass 240px, Entrance of the Roman tuninel. Image:Furlo Gorge.jpg, The gorge The Furlo Pass (Italian: ''Gola del Furlo'' or ''Passo del Furlo'') is a Canyon, gorge on the ancient Roman road Via Flaminia in the Marche region of central Italy, where it pass ...
on the
Via Flaminia The ''Via Flaminia'' or Flaminian Way was an ancient Roman road Roman roads ( la, viae Romanae ; singular: ; meaning "Roman way") were physical infrastructure vital to the maintenance and development of the Roman state, and were built from ab ...

Via Flaminia
is located. Both the
Etruscans The Etruscan civilization () of ancient Italy The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civilization, Etruscans, and Celts ha ...

Etruscans
and the Romans constructed tunnels here.


Abruzzi Apennines

The Abruzzi Apennines, located in
Abruzzo Abruzzo (, , ; nap, label=Neapolitan language, Abruzzese Neapolitan, Abbrùzze , ''Abbrìzze'' or ''Abbrèzze'' ; nap, label=Sabino dialect, Aquilano, Abbrùzzu) or Abruzzi is a Regions of Italy, region of Southern Italy with an area of 10,763 ...

Abruzzo
,
Molise it, Molisano (man) it, Molisana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 ...

Molise
and southeastern
Lazio Lazio (, ; ; la, Latium, ) is one of the 20 Regions of Italy, administrative regions of Italy. Situated in the Central Italy, central peninsular section of the country, it has 5,864,321 inhabitants – making it the second most populated region o ...

Lazio
, contain the highest peaks and most rugged terrain of the Apennines. They are known in history as the territory of the Italic peoples first defeated by the city of
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
. Coincidentally they exist in three parallel folds or chains surviving from the
orogeny Orogeny is the primary mechanism by which mountains are formed on continents. An orogeny is an event that takes place at a convergent plate margin when plate motion compresses the margin. This leads to both structural deformation Deformation ...
. These extend in a northwest-southeast direction from the River
Tronto The Tronto ( la, Truentus) is a long Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance langua ...
to the River
Sangro The Sangro is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reachi ...

Sangro
, which drain into the
Adriatic The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest a ...

Adriatic
. The coastal hills of the east extend between
San Benedetto del Tronto San Benedetto del Tronto is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a of , roughly equivalent to a or . Importance and function The provides essential public services: of births and deaths, , and maintenance of local roads and publ ...

San Benedetto del Tronto
in the north and
Torino di Sangro Torino di Sangro ( Abruzzese: ') is a ''comune The (; plural: ) is a local administrative division of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Nor ...
in the south. The eastern chain consists mainly of the southern part of the
Monti Sibillini The Sibillini Mountains, or Sibylline Mountains (Italian language, Italian: ''Monti Sibillini'') are one of the major mountain groups of italic peninsula, part of Apennine Mountains, Apennines mountain range. Most of the peaks are over ; the highe ...
, the
Monti della Laga Monti della Laga is a mountain range in the central Apennines of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by ...

Monti della Laga
, the
Gran Sasso d'Italia Gran Sasso d'Italia (; ) is a massif In geology, a massif ( or ) is a section of a planet's Crust (geology), crust that is demarcated by geologic fault, faults or Lithospheric flexure, flexures. In the Plate tectonics, movement of the cr ...
Massif and the
Majella The Maiella (or Majella) is a massif in the Central Apennines, in Abruzzo, central Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continenta ...

Majella
Massif. Among them are two national parks:
Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park The Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park is a natural park located mostly in Abruzzo Abruzzo (, , ; nap, label=Neapolitan language, Abruzzese Neapolitan, Abbrùzze , ''Abbrìzze'' or ''Abbrèzze'' ; nap, label=Sabino dialect, Aquilano ...
and ; and the Regional Park of the Monti Simbruini. Gran Sasso contains
Corno Grande Corno Grande ( Italian for "great horn") is the highest point in the Apennine Mountains The Apennines or Apennine Mountains (; grc-gre, links=no, Ἀπέννινα ὄρη or Ἀπέννινον ὄρος; la, Appenninus or  – a singul ...

Corno Grande
, the highest peak of the Apennines (2912 m). Other features between the western and central ranges are the plain of
Rieti Rieti (; lat, Reate, Sabino dialect, Sabino: ) is an ancient town and ''comune'' in Lazio, central Italy, with a population of 47,700. It is the administrative seat of the province of Rieti and see of the diocese of Rieti, as well as the modern ...

Rieti
, the valley of the Salto, and the Lago Fucino; while between the central and eastern ranges are the valleys of Aquila and
Sulmona Sulmona ( nap, label=Neapolitan language, Abruzzese, Sulmóne; la, Sulmo; grc, Σουλμῶν, Soulmôn) is a city and ''comune'' of the province of L'Aquila in Abruzzo, Italy. It is located in the Valle Peligna, a plateau once occupied by a la ...

Sulmona
. The chief rivers on the west are the Nera, with its
tributaries A tributary, or affluent, is a stream A stream is a body of water (Lysefjord) in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") ...
the Velino and Salto, and the
Aniene The Aniene (; la, Anio), formerly known as the Teverone, is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and bec ...

Aniene
, both of which fall into the Tiber. On the east there is at first a succession of small rivers which flow into the
Adriatic The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest a ...

Adriatic
, from which the highest points of the chain are some 20 km distant, such as the
Tronto The Tronto ( la, Truentus) is a long Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance langua ...
, Tordino, Vomano and others. The Pescara, which receives the
Aterno The Aterno-Pescara (ancient ''Aternus'' from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Eu ...
from the north-west and the Gizio from the south-east, is more important; and so is the
Sangro The Sangro is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reachi ...

Sangro
. The central Apennines are crossed by the railway from
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
to
Pescara Pescara (; nap, label=Abruzzese, Pescàrë; nap, label=Pescarese, Piscàrë) is the capital city of the Province of Pescara The province of Pescara ( it, provincia di Pescara; Abruzzese: ') is a province A province is almost always an admi ...

Pescara
via
Avezzano Avezzano ( or ; nap, Avezzàne, label=Marsicano ) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function Th ...

Avezzano
and Sulmona: the railway from
Orte Orte is a town, ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides essential public services: Civil regi ...
to
Terni Terni ( , ; lat, Interamna (Nahars)) is a city in the southern portion of the region of Umbria Umbria ( , ) is a of central . It includes Lake and , and is crossed by the River . It is the only landlocked region on the . The regional capita ...

Terni
(and thence to
Foligno Foligno (; Southern Umbrian: ''Fuligno'') is an ancient town of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the ...
) follows the Nera valley; while from Terni a line ascends to the plain of Rieti, and thence crosses the central chain to Aquila, whence it follows the valley of the Aterno to Sulmona. In ancient times the
Via Salaria The Via Salaria was an ancient Roman road Roman roads ( la, viae Romanae ; singular: ; meaning "Roman way") were physical infrastructure vital to the maintenance and development of the Roman state, and were built from about 300 BC through the ...
,
Via CaeciliaVia Caecilia, an ancient highroad of Italy, which diverged from the Via Salaria at the 35th mile (56 km) from Rome, and ran by Amiternum to the Adriatic coast, passing probably by Hadria (Atri, Italy, Atri). A branch ran to Interamna Praetuttior ...
and Via Valeria-Claudia all ran from Rome to the Adriatic coast. The volcanic mountains of the province of Rome are separated from the Apennines by the Tiber valley, and the
Monti Lepini The Monti Lepini (Italian: Lepini mountains) are a mountain range which belongs to the Anti-Apennines The Apennines or Apennine Mountains (; grc-gre, links=no, Ἀπέννινα ὄρη or Ἀπέννινον ὄρος; la, Appenninus or   ...
, part of the Volscian chain, by the valleys of the
Sacco Sacco may refer to: * Sacco (clothing) (also Sakko), a type of jacket * Sacco (river) The Sacco is a river of central Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisti ...
and
Liri The Liri (Latin Liris or Lyris, previously, Clanis; Greek language, Greek: ) is one of the principal rivers of central Italy, flowing into the Tyrrhenian Sea a little below Minturno under the name Garigliano. Source and route The Liri's source ...

Liri
.


Southern Apennines

The southern Apennines can be divided into four major regions: (1) Samnite Apennines, (2) Campanian Apennines, (3) Lucan Apennines and (4) Calabrian Apennines (including the Sicilian Apennines). They extend from Forlì pass towards south.


Samnite and Campanian Apennines

In the southern Apennines, to the south of the
Sangro The Sangro is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reachi ...

Sangro
valley, the three parallel chains are broken up into smaller groups; among them may be named the
Matese The Matese (Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, ...

Matese
, the highest point of which is the Monte Miletto . The chief rivers on the south-west are the
Liri The Liri (Latin Liris or Lyris, previously, Clanis; Greek language, Greek: ) is one of the principal rivers of central Italy, flowing into the Tyrrhenian Sea a little below Minturno under the name Garigliano. Source and route The Liri's source ...

Liri
or
Garigliano The Garigliano () is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course witho ...
with its tributary the Sacco, the
Volturno The Volturno (ancient Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...

Volturno
, Sebeto, Sarno, on the north the Trigno, Biferno and
Fortore The Fortore (Latin: ''Fertor'' or ''Frento'') is a river which flows through the provinces of Benevento Benevento (, , ; la, Beneventum; Benevento dialect, Beneventano: ''Beneviénte'') is a city and ''comune'' of Campania, Italy, capital of the ...
.
Daunian mountains Daunian Mountains (in Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional I ...
, in
Apulia it, Pugliese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_titl ...

Apulia
, are connected with the Apennine range, and so are
Cilento Cilento is an Italian geographical region of Campania it, Campano (man) it, Campana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes ...

Cilento
hills on the west. On the converse the promontory of
Mount Gargano Gargano () is a historical and geographical sub-region in the province of Foggia, Apulia, southeast Italy, consisting of a wide isolated mountain massif made of highland and several peaks and forming the backbone of the Gargano Promontory projecti ...

Mount Gargano
, on the east, is completely isolated, and so are the
Campania it, Campano (man) it, Campana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 ...
n
volcanic arc A volcanic arc is a chain of volcano A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object A planet is an astronomical body orbit In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved trajectory of an physical body, obj ...
near
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of and the third-largest city of , after and , with a population of 967,069 within the city's administrative limits as of ...

Naples
. The district is traversed from north-west to south-east by the railway from
Sulmona Sulmona ( nap, label=Neapolitan language, Abruzzese, Sulmóne; la, Sulmo; grc, Σουλμῶν, Soulmôn) is a city and ''comune'' of the province of L'Aquila in Abruzzo, Italy. It is located in the Valle Peligna, a plateau once occupied by a la ...

Sulmona
to
Benevento Benevento (, , ; la, Beneventum; Beneventano: ''Beneviénte'') is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance ...

Benevento
and on to
Avellino Avellino () is a town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides essential public services: ...
, and from south-west to northeast by the railways from Caianello via Isernia to Campobasso and Termoli, from Caserta to Benevento and Foggia, and from Nocera Inferiore and Avellino to Rocchetta Sant'Antonio, the junction for Foggia, Spinazzola (for Barletta, Bari, and Taranto) and Potenza. Roman roads followed the same lines as the railways: the Via Appia ran from Capua to Benevento, whence the older road went to Venosa and Taranto and so to Brindisi, while the Via Traiana ran nearly to Troia, Apulia, Troia (near Foggia) and thence to Bari.


Lucan Apennines

The valley of the Ofanto, which runs into the Adriatic close to Barletta, marks the northern termination of the first range of the Lucanian Apennines (now Basilicata), which runs from east to west, while south of the valleys of the Sele (on the west) and Basento (on the east)—which form the line followed by the railway from Battipaglia via Potenza to Metaponto—the second range begins to run due north and south as far as the plain of Sibari. The highest point is the Monte Pollino . The chief rivers are the Sele—joined by the Negro and Calore—on the west, and the Bradano, Basento, Agri, Sinni on the east, which flow into the gulf of Taranto; to the south of the last-named river there are only unimportant streams flowing into the sea east and west, inasmuch as here the width of the peninsula diminishes to some .


Calabrian and Sicilian Apennines

The railway running south from Sicignano to Lagonegro, ascending the valley of the Negro, is planned to extend to Cosenza, along the line followed by the ancient Via Popilia, which beyond Cosenza reached the west coast at Terina and thence followed it to Reggio. The Via Herculia, a branch of the Via Traiana, ran from Aequum Tuticum to the ancient Nerulum. At the narrowest point the plain of Sibari, through which the rivers Coscile and Crati flow to the sea, occurs on the east coast, extending halfway across the peninsula. Here the limestone Apennines proper cease and the granite mountains of Calabria begin. The first group extends as far as the isthmus formed by the gulfs of South Eufemia and Squillace; it is known as the Sila, and the highest point reached is (the Botte Donato). The forests which covered it in ancient times supplied the Greeks and Sicilians with timber for shipbuilding. The railway from South Eufemia to Catanzaro and Catanzaro Marina crosses the isthmus, and an ancient road may have run from Squillace to Monteleone. The second group extends to the south end of the Italian Peninsula, culminating in the Aspromonte () to the east of
Reggio di Calabria Reggio di Calabria ( scn, label= Reggino, Rìggiu; el, label= Bovesia Calabrian Greek The Calabrian dialect of Greek language, Greek, or Grecanico
. In both groups the rivers are quite unimportant. Finally, the Calabrian southern Apennine Mountains extend along the northern coast of Sicily (the Sicilian Apennines, Italian ''Appennino siculo'')—Pizzo Carbonara () being the highest peak.


Ecology


Vegetative zones


Ecoregions

* north and central: Apennine deciduous montane forests (temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome) * north through south: Italian sclerophyllous and semi-deciduous forests (Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome) * south: South Apennine mixed montane forests (also a Mediterranean biome) The number of vascular plant species in the Apennines has been estimated at 5,599. Of these, 728 (23.6%) are in the treeline ecotone. Raunkiær plant life-form, Hemicryptophytes predominate in the entire Apennine chain..


Alpine zone

The tree line ecotone is mainly grasslands of the Montane grasslands and shrublands biome; with Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, and Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub below it. The tree line in the Apennines can be found in the range to .. About 5% of the map area covered by the Apennines is at or above the tree line—or in the treeline ecotone. The snow line is at about , leaving the Apennines below it, except for the one remaining glacier. Snow may fall from October to May. Rainfall increases with latitude. The range's climates, depending on elevation and latitude, are the Oceanic climate and Mediterranean climate.


Geology

The Apennines were created in the Apennine
orogeny Orogeny is the primary mechanism by which mountains are formed on continents. An orogeny is an event that takes place at a convergent plate margin when plate motion compresses the margin. This leads to both structural deformation Deformation ...
beginning in the early Neogene (about 20 mya (unit), mya, the middle Miocene) and continuing today. Geographically they are partially (or appear to be) continuous with the Alps, Alpine system. Prior to the explosion of data on the topic from about the year 2000, many authors took the approach that the Apennines had the same origin as the Alps. Even today, some authors use the term Alpine-Apennine system. They are not, however, the same system and did not have the same origin. The Alps were millions of years old before the Apennines rose from the sea. Both the Alps and the Apennines contain primarily sedimentary rock resulting from sedimentation of the ancient Tethys Sea in the Mesozoic. The northward movement of the African Plate and its collision with the European Plate then caused the Alpine Orogeny, beginning in the late Mesozoic. The band of mountains created extends from Spain to Turkey in a roughly east–west direction and includes the Alps. The Apennines are much younger, extend from northwest to southeast, and are not a displacement of the Alpine chain. The key evidence of the difference is the geologic behavior of the
Po Valley The Po Valley, Po Plain, Plain of the Po, or Padan Plain ( it, Pianura Padana , or ''Val Padana'') is a major geographical feature of Northern Italy Northern Italy ( it, Italia settentrionale, it, Nord Italia, label=none, it, Alta Italia, ...
in northern Italy. Compressional forces have been acting from north to south in the Alps and from south to north in the Apennines, but instead of being squeezed into mountains the valley has been subsiding at 1 to per year since about 25 mya (unit), mya, before the Apennines It is now known to be not an erosional feature but is a filled portion of the Adriatic Trench, called the Adriatic foredeep after its function as a subduction zone was discovered. The Alps and the Apennines were always separated by this trench and were never part of the same system.


Apennine orogeny

The Apennine orogeny is a type of mountain-building in which two simpler types are combined in an apparently paradoxical configuration. Sometimes this is referred to as "syn-orogenic extension", but the term implies that the two processes occur simultaneously during time. Some scientists imagine that this is relatively rare but not unique in mountain building, whereas others imagine that this is fairly common in all mountain belts. The RETREAT ProjectThe Retreating-trench, extension and accretion (RETREAT) Project is a study conducted by a consortium of scientific organizations in different countries including in the US the National Science Foundation. have this specific feature as one of their focus points. In essence the east side of Italy features a fold and thrust belt raised by compressional forces acting under the
Adriatic The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest a ...

Adriatic
Sea. This side has been called the "Apennine-Adriatic Compressional Zone" or the "Apennines Convergence Zone." On the west side of Italy fault-block mountains prevail, created by a spreading or extension of the crust under the
Tyrrhenian Sea The Tyrrhenian Sea (; it, Mar Tirreno , french: Mer Tyrrhénienne , sc, Mare Tirrenu, co, Mari Tirrenu, scn, Mari Tirrenu, nap, Mare Tirreno) is part of the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by ...
. This side is called the "Tyrrhenian Extensional Zone." The mountains of Italy are of paradoxical provenience, having to derive from both compression and extension:
"The paradox of how contraction and extension can occur simultaneously in convergent mountain belts remains a fundamental and largely unresolved problem in continental dynamics."
Both the folded and the fault-block systems include parallel mountain chains. In the folded system anticlines erode into the highest and longest massifs of the Apennines. According to the older theories (originating from the 1930s to 1970s) of Dutch geologists, including Van Bemmelen, compression and extension can and should occur simultaneously at different depths in a mountain belt. In these theories, these different levels are called ''Stockwerke''. More recent work in geotectonics and geodynamics of the same school of geoscientists (Utrecht and Amsterdam University) by Vlaar, Wortel, and Cloetingh, and their disciples, extended these concepts even further into a temporal realm. They demonstrated that internal and external forces acting upon the mountain belt (e.g., slab pull and intra-plate stress field modulations due to large scale reorganisations of the Plate tectonics, tectonic plates) result in both longer episodes and shorter phases of general extension and compression acting both upon and inside mountain belts and tectonic arches (See e.g. for extensive reviews, bibliography and discussions on the literature: Van Dijk (1992), Van Dijk and Okkes (1991), Van Dijk & Scheepers (1995), and Van Dijk et al. (2000a)).


Compressional zone

The gradual subsidence of the
Po Valley The Po Valley, Po Plain, Plain of the Po, or Padan Plain ( it, Pianura Padana , or ''Val Padana'') is a major geographical feature of Northern Italy Northern Italy ( it, Italia settentrionale, it, Nord Italia, label=none, it, Alta Italia, ...
(including that of Venice) and the folding of the mountains of eastern Italy have been investigated using seismic wave analysis of the "Apennine Subduction System." Along the Adriatic side of Italy the floor of the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest ...

Adriatic Sea
, referred to as the "Adriatic lithosphere" or the "Adriatic plate," terms whose precise meaning is the subject of ongoing research, is dipping under the slab on which the Apennines have been folded by compressional forces. Subduction occurs along a Fault (geology), fault, along which a Fault (geology), hanging wall, or overriding slab is thrust over an overridden slab, also called the subducting slab. The fault that acts as the subduction interface is at the bottom of the Apennine wedge, characterized by a deep groove in the surface, typically filled with sediment, as sedimentation here occurs at a much faster rate than subduction. In north Italy the dip of this interface is 30° to 40° at a depth of 80–90 km.. The strike and dip, strike of the Apennine subduction zone forms a long, irregular arc with centers of curvature in the Tyrrhenian Sea following the hanging wall over which the mountains have been raised; i.e., the eastern wall of the mountains. It runs from near the base of the Ligurian Apennines in the Po Valley along the margin of the mountains to the Adriatic, along the coastal deeps of the Adriatic shore, strikes inland at Gargano, Monte Gargano cutting off
Apulia it, Pugliese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_titl ...

Apulia
, out to sea again through the Gulf of Taranto, widely around the rest of Italy and
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
and across inland north Africa. The upper mantle (Earth), upper mantle above deep is broken into the "Northern Apennines Arc" and the "Calabrian Arc", with compressional forces acting in different directions radially toward the arcs' centers of curvature. The overall plate tectonics of these events has been modeled in different ways but decisive data is still missing. The tectonics, however, are not the same as those which created the Alps.


Extensional zone

The west side of Italy is given to a fault-block system, where the crust – extended by the lengthening mantle below – thinned, broke along roughly parallel Fault (geology), fault lines, and the blocks alternatively sank into grabens or were raised by isostasy into Horst (geology), horsts. This system prevails from Corsica eastward to the valley of the
Tiber River The Tiber (; la, Tiberis; it, Tevere ) is the third-longest river in Italy and the longest in Central Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains The Apennines or Apennine Mountains (; grc-gre, links=no, Ἀπέννινα ὄρη or Ἀπ ...
, the last rift valley in that direction. It runs approximately across the direction of extension. In the fault-block system, the ridges are lower and are more steep-sided, since the walls are formed by faults. Geographically they are not considered part of the Apennines proper but are termed Sub-Apennines () or Anti-Apennines () or Pre-Apennines (). These mountains are found mainly in
Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = Italian , demogra ...
,
Lazio Lazio (, ; ; la, Latium, ) is one of the 20 Regions of Italy, administrative regions of Italy. Situated in the Central Italy, central peninsular section of the country, it has 5,864,321 inhabitants – making it the second most populated region o ...

Lazio
and
Campania it, Campano (man) it, Campana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 ...
.


Stability of terrain

The terrain of the Apennines (as well as that of the Alps) is to a large degree unstable due to various types of Landslide classification, landslides, including falls and slides of rocks and debris, flows of earth and mud, and sink holes. The Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (), a government agency founded in 2008 by combining three older agencies, published in that year a special report, ''Landslides in Italy'', summarizing the results of the IFFI Project (), the Italian Landslide Inventory (), an extensive survey of historical landslides in Italy undertaken by the government starting in 1997. On December 31, 2007, it had studied and mapped 482,272 landslides over . Its major statistics are the Landslide Index (LI here), the ratio of the landslide area to the total area of a region, the Landslide Index in Mountainous-Hilly Areas (here LIMH) and the Density of Landslides, which is the number per . Italy as a whole has a LI of 6.8, a LIMH of 9.1 and a density of 160. Lombardia (LI of 13.9),
Emilia-Romagna Emilia-Romagna (, , both also ; ; egl, Emégglia-Rumâgna or ''Emîlia-Rumâgna''; rgn, Emélia-Rumâgna) is one of the 20 Regions of Italy, administrative regions of Italy, situated in the north of the country, comprising the historical regions ...

Emilia-Romagna
(11.4), Marches (19.4),
Molise it, Molisano (man) it, Molisana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 ...

Molise
(14.0), Valle d'Aosta (16.0) and Piemonte (9.1) are significantly higher. The most unstable terrain in the Apennines when the landslide sites are plotted on the map are in order from most unstable the eastern flanks of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, the Central Apennines and the eastern flank of the southern Apennines. Instability there is comparable to the Alps bordering the
Po Valley The Po Valley, Po Plain, Plain of the Po, or Padan Plain ( it, Pianura Padana , or ''Val Padana'') is a major geographical feature of Northern Italy Northern Italy ( it, Italia settentrionale, it, Nord Italia, label=none, it, Alta Italia, ...
. The most stable terrain is on the western side:
Liguria it, Ligure , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 ...

Liguria
,
Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = Italian , demogra ...
,
Umbria it, Umbro (man) it, Umbra (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , ...

Umbria
and
Lazio Lazio (, ; ; la, Latium, ) is one of the 20 Regions of Italy, administrative regions of Italy. Situated in the Central Italy, central peninsular section of the country, it has 5,864,321 inhabitants – making it the second most populated region o ...

Lazio
. The Apennines are slumping away to the northeast into the Po Valley and the Adriatic foredeep; that is, the zone where the Adriatic floor is being subducted under Italy. Slides with large translational or rotational surface movements are most common; e.g., a whole slope slumps into its valley, placing the population there at risk.


Glacial ice

Glaciers no longer exist in the Apennines outside the
Gran Sasso d'Italia Gran Sasso d'Italia (; ) is a massif In geology, a massif ( or ) is a section of a planet's Crust (geology), crust that is demarcated by geologic fault, faults or Lithospheric flexure, flexures. In the Plate tectonics, movement of the cr ...
massif. However, post-Pliocene moraines have been observed in Basilicata.


Major peaks

The Apennines include about 21 peaks over , the approximate tree line (counting only the top peak in each massif). Most of these peaks are located in the Central Apennines.


See also

* Monti Simbruini – ''Apennines plants and animals list'' * Geography of Italy * List of national parks of Italy *
List of longest tunnels This list of longest tunnels ranks tunnels that are at least long. Only continuous tunnels are included. Pipelines, even those that are buried, are excluded. The longest tunnels have been constructed for water distribution, followed by tunnels ...
* List of highest paved roads in Europe * List of mountain passes#Apennines, List of mountain passes * TaskForceMajella


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * * * * * . * . * . ;Attribution *


External links

* * * * * {{Authority control Apennine Mountains, Mountain ranges of Italy Mountains of San Marino Physiographic provinces