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Southern Europe is the southern
region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the wo ...

region
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 and , and is bordered by the to the ...

Europe
. Definitions of Southern Europe, also known as
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
Europe, may include countries and regions such as:
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Medite ...

Albania
,
Andorra Andorra (, ; ), officially the Principality of Andorra ( ca, Principat d'Andorra), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', w ...

Andorra
,
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
,
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
,
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...

Cyprus
(politically and culturally, but belongs geographically to
Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact character ...

Western Asia
),
Gibraltar ) , anthem = "" , song = "" , image_map = Gibraltar location in Europe.svg , map_alt = Location of Gibraltar in Europe , map_caption = United Kingdom shown in pale green , mapsize = 290px , image_map2 = Gibraltar map-en-edit2.svg , map ...

Gibraltar
,
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in . Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; is its largest and capital city, followed by . Situated on the southern tip of the , ...

Greece
,
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 largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
,
Kosovo Kosovo, or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово officially the Republic of Kosovo,; sr, / is a partially recognised state in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a ...

Kosovo
,
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern subregion of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of ...

Malta
,
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque Ligurian: ''Prinçipatu de Mu̍negu''), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The ...

Monaco
,
Montenegro Montenegro (; cnr, Crna Gora, , , ; sq, Mali i zi) is a country in . It is located on the and is a part of the , sharing borders with to the northeast, to the north and west, to the east, to the southeast, the Adriatic Sea and to the ...

Montenegro
,
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subr ...
,
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, ...

Portugal
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
,
San Marino San Marino (, ), officially the Republic of San Marino ( it, Repubblica di San Marino; ), also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino ( it, Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, links=no), is a small country (and a European microstate) ...

San Marino
,
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refe ...

Serbia
,
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, lin ...

Slovenia
,
Southern France Southern France, also known as the South of France or colloquially in French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, Répub ...
(especially
Corsica Corsica (, Upper , Southern , ; french: link=no, Corse ; lij, link=no, Còrsega) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north ...

Corsica
),
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the ...

Turkey
(
East Thrace East Thrace landscape in Edirne Province, Turkey East Thrace or Eastern Thrace ( tr, Doğu Trakya or simply ''Trakya''; el, Ανατολική Θράκη, ''Anatoliki Thraki''; bg, Източна Тракия, ''Iztochna Trakiya''), also kn ...
) and
Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vatikanstadt, cf. '—' (in Austria: ') * pl, Miasto Watykańskie, cf. '—' * pt, Cidade do Vatica ...

Vatican City
. Southern Europe is focused on the three peninsulas located in the extreme south of the European continent. These are the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region o ...

Iberian Peninsula
, the
Italian Peninsula The Italian Peninsula (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 *** Regi ...
, and the
Balkan Peninsula The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather ...

Balkan Peninsula
. These three peninsulas are separated from the rest of Europe by towering mountain ranges. The location of these peninsulas in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as their mountainous reliefs, provide them with very different types of climates (mainly
subtropical The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographical zone, geographical and Köppen climate classification, climate zones located to the north and south of the tropics, Torrid Zone. Geographically part of the Geographical zone#Temperate zones, ...
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
) from the rest of the continent. So, the
Sirocco Sirocco (), scirocco, ghibli, jugo or, rarely, siroc (see below) is a Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also ...

Sirocco
hot wind that originates in the heart of the
Sahara The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the African continent Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million k ...

Sahara
blows over
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 largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
, going up to the interior of the Alpine arc (
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 or just it, Nord, lab ...
). The
Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest and most extensive 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 i ...

Alps
prevent the Sirocco from spreading to the rest of Europe. And, conversely, the Alps and the
Pyrenees The Pyrenees (; es, Pirineos ; french: Pyrénées ; ca, Pirineus ; eu, Pirinioak ; oc, Pirenèus ; an, Pirineus) is a mountain range straddling the border of and . It extends nearly from its union with the to on the coast. It reaches a ma ...

Pyrenees
protect the Italian and Iberian peninsulas from the rains and icy winds from the south of France such as the Mistral and the
Tramontane Tramontane ( ) ; french: tramontane ; el, τραμουντάνα, tramountána, ; it, tramontana ; la, trānsmontānus ; mt, tramuntana ; sl, tramontana ; sh, tramontana ; es, link=no, tramontana . is a classical name for a northern wind. ...

Tramontane
. When the Mistral and the
Tramontane Tramontane ( ) ; french: tramontane ; el, τραμουντάνα, tramountána, ; it, tramontana ; la, trānsmontānus ; mt, tramuntana ; sl, tramontana ; sh, tramontana ; es, link=no, tramontana . is a classical name for a northern wind. ...

Tramontane
are blowing, this provokes an "upwelling" phenomenon on the French coast. They push the surface waters out to sea and bring deeper, cooler waters up to the seaside. Consequently, the temperature of the waters of the French coasts are therefore very cool even in summer, and not representative of the rest of the Mediterranean. This same kind of phenomenon takes place between the two slopes of the Balkan mountain range. These mountain ranges have, moreover, been a serious handicap to population displacement, focusing southern Europe mainly on the Mediterranean world. The climate and cultures are therefore very specific. Different methods can be used to define Southern Europe, including its
political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of reso ...

political
,
economic An economy (; ) is an area of the production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products ( ...

economic
,
historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study and the documentation of the past. Events before the History of writing#Inventions of writing, invention of writing systems ar ...

historical
and
cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior among two or more organisms within the same species, and encompasses any behavior in which one member affects the other. This is due to an int ...

cultural
attributes. Southern Europe can also be defined by its natural features — its
geography Geography (from 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 Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...

geography
,
climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degree to which it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloud cover, cloudy. On Earth, most weather phenomena ...

climate
, and
flora Flora is all the plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the plant kingdom encompassed all living things that were not animals, and included algae and fungi; however ...

flora
. Politically, seven of the Southern European states form the
EU Med Group EU Med or EuroMed 7 or MED7, which is also referred to as "Club Med" and "Med Group", is an alliance of seven List of Mediterranean countries, Mediterranean and Southern European Union member states, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, ...
.


Geography

Geographically, Southern Europe is the southern portion of the
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 and , and is bordered by the to the ...

Europe
an continent. This definition is relative, although largely based on history, culture,
climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degree to which it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloud cover, cloudy. On Earth, most weather phenomena ...

climate
, and flora, which is shared across the region. Southern Europe can be subdivided into three
subregions
subregions
: * South Central Europe: the
Italian Peninsula The Italian Peninsula (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 *** Regi ...
(
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 largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
and the microstates of
San Marino San Marino (, ), officially the Republic of San Marino ( it, Repubblica di San Marino; ), also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino ( it, Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, links=no), is a small country (and a European microstate) ...

San Marino
,
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque Ligurian: ''Prinçipatu de Mu̍negu''), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The ...

Monaco
and
Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vatikanstadt, cf. '—' (in Austria: ') * pl, Miasto Watykańskie, cf. '—' * pt, Cidade do Vatica ...

Vatican City
) with
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern subregion of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of ...

Malta
and currently French territory in the Italian geographic area (
Corsica Corsica (, Upper , Southern , ; french: link=no, Corse ; lij, link=no, Còrsega) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north ...

Corsica
and
Alpes-Maritimes Alpes-Maritimes (; oc, Aups Maritims; it, Alpi Marittime, "Maritime Alps") is a department of France In the administrative divisions of France, the department (french: département, ) is one of the three levels of government under the nat ...
). *
Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the ...

Southeastern Europe
: the
Balkan Peninsula The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather ...

Balkan Peninsula
(
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Medite ...

Albania
,
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
,
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
,
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in . Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; is its largest and capital city, followed by . Situated on the southern tip of the , ...

Greece
,
Kosovo Kosovo, or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово officially the Republic of Kosovo,; sr, / is a partially recognised state in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a ...

Kosovo
,
Montenegro Montenegro (; cnr, Crna Gora, , , ; sq, Mali i zi) is a country in . It is located on the and is a part of the , sharing borders with to the northeast, to the north and west, to the east, to the southeast, the Adriatic Sea and to the ...

Montenegro
,
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subr ...
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
,
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refe ...

Serbia
, and
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, lin ...

Slovenia
, as well as
East Thrace East Thrace landscape in Edirne Province, Turkey East Thrace or Eastern Thrace ( tr, Doğu Trakya or simply ''Trakya''; el, Ανατολική Θράκη, ''Anatoliki Thraki''; bg, Източна Тракия, ''Iztochna Trakiya''), also kn ...
in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the ...

Turkey
). *
Southwestern Europe
Southwestern Europe
: the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region o ...

Iberian Peninsula
(
Andorra Andorra (, ; ), officially the Principality of Andorra ( ca, Principat d'Andorra), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', w ...

Andorra
,
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, ...

Portugal
, and
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
, as well as
Gibraltar ) , anthem = "" , song = "" , image_map = Gibraltar location in Europe.svg , map_alt = Location of Gibraltar in Europe , map_caption = United Kingdom shown in pale green , mapsize = 290px , image_map2 = Gibraltar map-en-edit2.svg , map ...

Gibraltar
, a
British overseas territory The British Overseas Territories (BOTs), also known as United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), are fourteen territories all with a constitutional and historical link with the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and N ...

British overseas territory
and a smaller
French territory
French territory
known as the
French Cerdagne French Cerdagne ( ca, Alta Cerdanya, ) is the northern half of Cerdanya, which came under French control as a result of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, while the southern half remained in Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Re ...
), and currently French territory of
Pyrénées-Orientales Pyrénées-Orientales (; ca, Pirineus Orientals ; oc, Pirenèus Orientals; "Eastern Pyrenees"), also known as Northern Catalonia Northern Catalonia ( ca, Catalunya (del) Nord ; french: Catalogne (du) Nord ; oc, Catalonha (del) Nòrd), Frenc ...
. The major islands in Southern Europe include the
Balearic Islands The Balearic Islands ( , also , ; ca, Illes Balears ; es, Islas Baleares ) are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea contai ...

Balearic Islands
,
Corsica Corsica (, Upper , Southern , ; french: link=no, Corse ; lij, link=no, Còrsega) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north ...

Corsica
,
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...

Crete
,
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the island in the , after , and one of the of Italy. It is located west of the , north of and immediately south of the French island of . It is one of the five Italian regions with some ...

Sardinia
, and
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
, as well as the
island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an indepe ...
of
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern subregion of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of ...

Malta
. Europe geographique grande.jpg, Map representing the geography of Europe, with the mountain ranges separating Southern Europe. España y Portugal.jpg, Satellite image of the Iberian Peninsula. Satellite image of Italy in March 2003.jpg, Satellite image of the Italian Peninsula. Wildfires Balkans July 2007-NASA.jpg, Satellite image of the Balkan Peninsula.


Climate

Southern Europe's most emblematic
climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degree to which it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloud cover, cloudy. On Earth, most weather phenomena ...

climate
is the
Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degre ...
, influenced by the large subtropical semi-permanent centre of high atmospheric pressure found, not in the Mediterranean itself, but in the Atlantic Ocean, the
Azores HighThe Azores High ( pt, Anticiclone dos Açores) also known as North Atlantic (Subtropical) High/Anticyclone or the Bermuda-Azores High, is a large subtropical The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographic and climate zones located to the n ...
. The Mediterranean climate covers
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, ...

Portugal
,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
,
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 largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
, the southern coast of
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...
, coastal
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
, coastal
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, lin ...

Slovenia
, southern
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...
,
Montenegro Montenegro (; cnr, Crna Gora, , , ; sq, Mali i zi) is a country in . It is located on the and is a part of the , sharing borders with to the northeast, to the north and west, to the east, to the southeast, the Adriatic Sea and to the ...

Montenegro
,
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Medite ...

Albania
, and
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in . Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; is its largest and capital city, followed by . Situated on the southern tip of the , ...

Greece
, as well as the Mediterranean islands. Those areas of Mediterranean climate present similar vegetations and landscapes throughout, including dry hills, small plains,
pine A pine is any conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Coniferae. The divi ...

pine
forests and
olive The olive, botanical name ''Olea europaea'', meaning "European olive", is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodivers ...

olive
trees. Cooler climates can be found in certain parts of Southern European countries, for example within the mountain ranges of Spain and Italy. Additionally, the north coast of Spain experiences a wetter Atlantic climate. Some parts of Southern Europe have humid subtropical climates with warm and wet summers, unlike typical Mediterranean climates. This climate is mainly found in Italy and Croatia around the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the from the . The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the , extending from the (where it connects to the ) to the northwest and the . The countries with coasts on the Adriatic are , , , , and ...

Adriatic Sea
in cities such as
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, d ...

Venice
and
Trieste Trieste ( , ; sl, Trst ; german: Triest ) is a city and in northeastern . It is the capital city, and largest city, of the of , one of two autonomous regions which are not subdivided into . Trieste is located at the head of the , on a narrow ...

Trieste
.


Flora

Southern Europe's
flora Flora is all the plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the plant kingdom encompassed all living things that were not animals, and included algae and fungi; however ...

flora
is mainly characterized by
Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub is a biome defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The biome is generally characterized by dry summers and rainy winters, although in some areas rainfall may be uniform. Summers are typically hot in l ...
, but also
temperate broadleaf and mixed forests Temperate broadleaf and mixed forest is a temperate climate In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, a ...
. The Mediterranean and Submediterranean climate regions in Europe are found in much of Southern Europe, mainly Portugal, Spain, Italy, Malta, Albania, Greece, Cyprus and all the mediterranean islands, but also in southeast France, the
Balkan The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe with various definitions and meanings, including geopolitical and historical. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch t ...

Balkan
Mediterranean coast and part of Macedonia. Particolare della foresta di faggi - Parco Naturale dei Monti Aurunci.jpg,
Beech Beech (''Fagus'') is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fossil organisms as well as Virus classification#ICTV classification, v ...

Beech
forest in the
Aurunci Mountains The Monti Aurunci (or Aurunci Mountains) is a mountain range of southern Lazio it, Laziale , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , d ...

Aurunci Mountains
, Italy Donana.jpg,
Stone pine The stone pine, botanical name ''Pinus pinea'', also known as the Italian stone pine, umbrella pine and parasol pine, is a tree from the pine A pine is any conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed pla ...
s in Doñana National Park, Spain AlentejoPortugal1994.jpg, Oak
savanna A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland A woodland () is, in the broad sense, land covered with trees, or in a narrow sense, synonymous with wood (or in the U.S., the ' woods), a low-density forming open s with plenty of sunlight and li ...

savanna
of
Alentejo The Alentejo ( , ) is a geographical, historical and cultural region of south central and southern Portugal. In Portuguese, its name means "beyond () the Tagus river" (''Tejo''). The Alentejo includes the regions of Alto Alentejo Province, Alto ...

Alentejo
, Portugal ('''' and '''') Pinus halepensis forest, near Dubrovnik, Croatia - Stiller Beobachter.jpg,
Aleppo pine ''Pinus halepensis'', commonly known as the Aleppo pine, is a pine A pine is any Pinophyta, conifer in the genus ''Pinus'' () of the family (biology), family Pinaceae. ''Pinus'' is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The Plant List compi ...
forest, Croatia MonteCimone3.jpg, Temperate pine forests of
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
, Italy LandscapeInCrete.JPG, Dry
olive The olive, botanical name ''Olea europaea'', meaning "European olive", is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodivers ...

olive
groove, Crete


History


Early history

The
Phoenicians Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0 ...

Phoenicians
originally expanded from
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
port A port is a maritime law, maritime facility comprising one or more Wharf, wharves or loading areas, where ships load and discharge Affreightment, cargo and passengers. Although usually situated on a sea coast or estuary, ports can a ...

port
s, dominating trade in the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
by the 8th century BC.
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
was founded in 814 BC, and the Carthaginians by 700 BC had firmly established strongholds in
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
and
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the island in the , after , and one of the of Italy. It is located west of the , north of and immediately south of the French island of . It is one of the five Italian regions with some ...

Sardinia
(both regions in present day
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 largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
), which created conflicts of interest with
Etruria Etruria () was a region of Central Italy Central Italy ( it, Italia centrale or just ) is one of the five official statistical regions of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ) ...

Etruria
. Its colonies later reached the
Western Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands aroun ...
, such as
Cádiz Cádiz (, also , ; see more below) is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the Province of Cádiz, one of eight that make up the autonomous community of Andalusia Andalusia (, ; es, Andalucía ) is the southernmost ...

Cádiz
in Spain and most notably
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
in North Africa, and even the
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
. The civilisation spread across the Mediterranean between 1500 BC and 300 BC. The period known as
classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, ...
began with the rise of the city-states of
Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era wa ...
. Greek influence reached its zenith under the expansive empire of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
, spreading throughout
Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the cont ...

Asia
. The
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
came to dominate the entire
Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ...
in a vast empire based on
Roman law Roman law is the law, legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand years of jurisprudence, from the Twelve Tables (c. 449 BC), to the ''Corpus Juris Civilis'' (AD 529) ordered by Eastern Roman emperor J ...
and
Roman legion The Roman legion ( la, legiō, ) was the largest military unit of the Roman army The Roman army (: ) was the armed forces deployed by the Romans throughout the duration of , from the (to c. 500 BC) to the (500–31 BC) and the (31 BC– ...

Roman legion
s. It promoted trade, tolerance, and Greek culture. By 300 AD the Roman Empire was divided into the
Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican ...

Western Roman Empire
based in Rome, and the
Eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Eastern Roman Empire
based in Constantinople. The attacks of the
Goths The Goths ( got, 𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰, translit=''Gutþiuda''; la, Gothi) were a Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between West ...
led to the
fall of the Western Roman Empire The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire, a process in which the Empire failed to enforce its rule, and its vast ...
in 476 AD, a date which traditionally marks the end of the classical period and the start of the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
. During the Middle Ages, the Eastern Roman Empire survived, though modern historians refer to this state as the Byzantine Empire. In Western Europe,
Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in 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 wester ...

Germanic peoples
moved into positions of power in the remnants of the former Western Roman Empire and established kingdoms and empires of their own. The period known as the
Crusades The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1095 and 1271 that h ...

Crusades
, a series of religiously motivated military expeditions originally intended to bring the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
back into Christian rule, began. Several
Crusader states The Crusader States, also known as Outremer, were four Roman Catholic realms in the Middle East that lasted from 1098 to 1291. These were created by the leaders of the through and political intrigue. The four states were the (10981150) ...

Crusader states
were founded in the eastern Mediterranean. These were all short-lived. The Crusaders would have a profound impact on many parts of Europe. Their
sack of Constantinople The sack of Constantinople occurred in April 1204 and marked the culmination of the Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition wa ...
in 1204 brought an abrupt end to the Byzantine Empire. Though it would later be re-established, it would never recover its former glory. The Crusaders would establish trade routes that would develop into the
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. It was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions ...

Silk Road
and open the way for the merchant republics of
Genoa Genoa ( ; it, Genova ; locally ; lij, Zêna ; English, historically, and la, Genua) is the capital of the Regions of Italy, Italian region of Liguria and the List of cities in Italy, sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived ...
and
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...
to become major economic powers. The
Reconquista The ' (Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portug ...

Reconquista
, a related movement, worked to reconquer
Iberia The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a penin ...

Iberia
for
Christendom Christendom historically refers to the "Christian world": Christian state A Christian state is a country that recognizes a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the ...
. The
late Middle Ages The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical com ...
represented a period of upheaval in Europe. The epidemic known as the
Black Death The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Afro-Eurasia from 1346 to 1353. It is the List of epidemics, most fatal pandemic recorded in human history, causing th ...

Black Death
and an associated famine caused
demographic Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided ...

demographic
catastrophe in Europe as the population plummeted. Dynastic struggles and wars of conquest kept many of the states of Europe at war for much of the period. In the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
, the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, a Turkish state originating in
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
, encroached steadily on former Byzantine lands, culminating in the
fall of Constantinople The fall of Constantinople ( grc-x-byzant, Ἅλωσις τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως , translit=Hálōsis tē̂s Kōnstantīnoupóleōs ; tr, İstanbul'un Fethi, lit=Conquest of Istanbul ) was the capture of the capital Cap ...
in 1453.


Post-Middle Ages

Beginning roughly in the 12th century in
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
, and later spreading through Europe with the development of the
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an ink Ink is a gel, sol, or solution Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, Making a saline water solution by dissolving Salt, table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in water ...
, a
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
of knowledge challenged traditional doctrines in science and
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed ...
, with the Arabic texts and thought bringing about rediscovery of classical Greek and Roman knowledge. The Catholic reconquest of Portugal and Spain led to a series of oceanic explorations resulting in the
Age of Discovery The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration (sometimes also, particularly regionally, Age of Contact or Contact Period), is an informal and loosely defined term for the early modern period approximately from the 15th century to the 18th century ...
that established direct links with Africa, the Americas, and Asia. During this period, Iberian forces engaged in a worldwide struggle with Islamic societies; the battlefronts in this Ibero-Islamic World War stretched from the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...
into the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large ...

Indian Ocean
, finally involving the islands of
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Southeast Asia
. Eventually this ecumenical conflict ended when new players—England, Holland and France—replaced Spain and Portugal as the main agents of European imperialism in the mid-17th century. European overseas expansion led to the rise of
colonial empire A colonial empire is a collective of territories (often called colony, colonies), either contiguous with the imperial center or located overseas territory, overseas, Plantation (settlement or colony), settled by the population of a certain Sovereig ...
s, producing the
Columbian Exchange#REDIRECT Columbian exchange native plants. Clockwise, from top left: 1. Citrus (Rutaceae); 2. Apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agriculture, cultivated worldwid ...
. The combination of resource inflows from the New World and the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
of Great Britain, allowed a new economy based on manufacturing instead of subsistence agriculture. The period between 1815 and 1871 saw a large number of revolutionary attempts and independence wars. Balkan nations began to regain independence from the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
. Italy unified into a nation state. The
capture of Rome The Capture of Rome ( it, Presa di Roma) on September 20, 1870, was the final event of the long process of Italian unification also known as the ''Risorgimento'', marking both the final defeat of the Papal States under Pope Pius IX and the unifi ...
in 1870 ended the Temporal power (papal), Papal temporal power.


20th century

The outbreak of World War I in 1914 was precipitated by the rise of nationalism in Southeastern Europe as the Great Powers took up sides. The Allies defeated the Central Powers in 1918. During the Paris Peace Conference, 1919, Paris Peace Conference the The Big Four (World War I), Big Four imposed their terms in a series of treaties, especially the Treaty of Versailles. The Nazi regime under Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, and along with Italian Fascism, Mussolini's Italy sought to gain control of the continent by the Second World War. Following the Allied victory in the Second World War, Europe was divided by the Iron Curtain. The countries in Southeastern Europe were dominated by the Soviet Union and became communist states. The major non-communist Southern European countries joined a US-led military alliance (NATO) and formed the European Economic Community amongst themselves. The countries in the Soviet sphere of influence joined the military alliance known as the Warsaw Pact and the economic bloc called Comecon. Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia was neutral. The common attribute of the eastern countries is that all of them have experiences about socialism, but nevertheless, the beginning of the 1990s was just roughly the same. For some of them becoming independent was the major challenge, while others needed to face with poverty and deep dictatorship also Economically, parallel with the political changes, and the democratic transition, – as a rule of law states – the previous command economies were transformed via the legislation into market economies, and set up or renewed the major macroeconomic factors: budgetary rules, national audit, national currency, central bank. Generally, they shortly encountered the following problems: high inflation, high unemployment, low economic growth and high government debt. By 2000 these economies were stabilized, and sooner or later between 2004 and 2013 some of them joined the European Union, and Slovenia introduced the euro. Italy became a major industrialized country again, due to its post-war economic miracle. The European Union (EU) involved the division of powers, with taxation, health, and education handled by the nation states, while the EU had charge of market rules, competition, legal standards and environmentalism. The Soviet economic and political system collapsed, leading to the end of communism in the satellite countries in 1989, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union itself in 1991. European Union expanded to subsequently include many of the formerly communist European countries –
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
and
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
(2007) and
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
(2013).


Languages


Romance languages

The most widely spoken family of languages in Southern Europe are the Romance languages, the heirs of Latin, which have spread from the Italian peninsula, and are emblematic of Southwestern Europe. ''(See the Latin Arch.)'' By far the most common Romance languages in Southern Europe are Italian (spoken by over 50 million people in Italy, Switzerland, Malta, San Marino, and the Vatican) and Spanish, which is spoken by over 40 million people in Spain, Andorra and Gibraltar. Other common Romance languages include Portuguese (spoken in Portugal and Andorra), French (spoken in France, Monaco, and the Aosta Valley in Italy), Catalan (spoken in eastern Spain, Andorra, Southwestern France, and the
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the island in the , after , and one of the of Italy. It is located west of the , north of and immediately south of the French island of . It is one of the five Italian regions with some ...

Sardinia
n town of Alghero in Italy), Galician language, Galician (spoken in northwestern Spain), Mirandese language, Mirandese (spoken in northeast Portugal), and Occitan, which is spoken in the Val d'Aran in Catalonia, in the Occitan Valleys in Italy and in southern France.


Other languages

The Hellenic languages or Greek language are widely spoken in Greece and Cyprus. Additionally, other varieties of Greek are spoken in small communities in parts of other European countries. English is used as a second language in parts of Southern Europe. As a primary language, however, English has only a small presence in Southern Europe, only in Gibraltar (alongside Spanish) and Malta (secondary to Maltese). English is also widely spoken in Cyprus. There are other language groupings in Southern Europe. Albanian language, Albanian is spoken in Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Greece, Serbia, Croatia and Italy (particularly by the Arbëreshë people in Southern Italy), and Serbo-Croatian is spoken in Kosovo, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Italy (in Molise). Slovene language, Slovenian is spoken in Slovenia, Italy (in Friuli-Venezia Giulia) and Croatia (in Istria) and Macedonian language, Macedonian is spoken in North Macedonia. Maltese language, Maltese is a Semitic language that is the official language of Malta, descended from Siculo-Arabic, but written in the Latin script with heavy Latin and Italian influences. The Basque language is spoken in the Basque Country (greater region), Basque Country, a region in northern Spain and southwestern France. Turkish language, Turkish is a Turkic language that is spoken in Turkey, Cyprus, Kosovo, Greece, North Macedonia and Bosnia, and German language, German is spoken in Italy, particularly in South Tyrol.


Religion

The predominant religion in Southern Europe is Christianity. Christianity spread throughout Southern Europe during the Roman Empire, and Christianity was adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire in the year 380 AD. Due to East–West Schism, the historical break of the Church into the western half based in Rome and the eastern half based in Constantinople, different denominations of Christianity are prominent in different parts of Europe. Christians in the western half of Southern Europe — e.g., Portugal, Spain, Italy — are generally Roman Catholic. Christians in the eastern half of Southern Europe — e.g., Greece, Serbia and North Macedonia — are generally Eastern Orthodox. Islam is widely practiced in Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and Turkey and Northern Cyprus. Muslims are a significant minority in several countries of Southern Europe- e.g., Greece, Italy, Spain. Judaism was practiced widely throughout the European continent within the Roman Empire from the 2nd century.


Other classifications


''CIA World Factbook''

In the ''The World Factbook, CIA World Factbook'', the description of each country includes information about "Location" under the heading "Geography", where the country is classified into a region. The following countries are included in their classification "Southern Europe": *
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in . Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; is its largest and capital city, followed by . Situated on the southern tip of the , ...

Greece
*Vatican City, Holy See (Vatican City) *
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 largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
*
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern subregion of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of ...

Malta
*
San Marino San Marino (, ), officially the Republic of San Marino ( it, Repubblica di San Marino; ), also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino ( it, Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, links=no), is a small country (and a European microstate) ...

San Marino
In addition,
Andorra Andorra (, ; ), officially the Principality of Andorra ( ca, Principat d'Andorra), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', w ...

Andorra
,
Gibraltar ) , anthem = "" , song = "" , image_map = Gibraltar location in Europe.svg , map_alt = Location of Gibraltar in Europe , map_caption = United Kingdom shown in pale green , mapsize = 290px , image_map2 = Gibraltar map-en-edit2.svg , map ...

Gibraltar
.
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, ...

Portugal
and
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
are classified as "Southwestern Europe", while
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Medite ...

Albania
,
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
,
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
,
Montenegro Montenegro (; cnr, Crna Gora, , , ; sq, Mali i zi) is a country in . It is located on the and is a part of the , sharing borders with to the northeast, to the north and west, to the east, to the southeast, the Adriatic Sea and to the ...

Montenegro
,
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subr ...
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
,
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refe ...

Serbia
and
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the ...

Turkey
(the part west of the Bosporus) are described as located in "Southeastern Europe".


EuroVoc

EuroVoc is a multilingual thesaurus maintained by the Publications Office of the European Union, giving definitions of terms for official use. In the definition of "Southern Europe", the following countries are included: *
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...

Cyprus
*
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in . Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; is its largest and capital city, followed by . Situated on the southern tip of the , ...

Greece
*Holy See *
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 largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
*
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern subregion of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of ...

Malta
*
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, ...

Portugal
*
San Marino San Marino (, ), officially the Republic of San Marino ( it, Repubblica di San Marino; ), also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino ( it, Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, links=no), is a small country (and a European microstate) ...

San Marino
*
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
*
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the ...

Turkey


UN geoscheme classification

The United Nations geoscheme is a system devised by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) which divides the countries of the world into regional and subregional groups, based on the UN M49, M49 coding classification. The partition is for statistical convenience and does not imply any assumption regarding political or other affiliation of countries or territories. In the UN geoscheme, the following countries are classified as Southern Europe: *
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Medite ...

Albania
*
Andorra Andorra (, ; ), officially the Principality of Andorra ( ca, Principat d'Andorra), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', w ...

Andorra
*
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
*
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
*
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in . Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; is its largest and capital city, followed by . Situated on the southern tip of the , ...

Greece
* Holy See *
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 largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
*
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern subregion of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of ...

Malta
*
Montenegro Montenegro (; cnr, Crna Gora, , , ; sq, Mali i zi) is a country in . It is located on the and is a part of the , sharing borders with to the northeast, to the north and west, to the east, to the southeast, the Adriatic Sea and to the ...

Montenegro
*
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subr ...
*
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, ...

Portugal
*
San Marino San Marino (, ), officially the Republic of San Marino ( it, Repubblica di San Marino; ), also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino ( it, Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, links=no), is a small country (and a European microstate) ...

San Marino
*
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refe ...

Serbia
*
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, lin ...

Slovenia
*
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
as well as the dependent area: *
Gibraltar ) , anthem = "" , song = "" , image_map = Gibraltar location in Europe.svg , map_alt = Location of Gibraltar in Europe , map_caption = United Kingdom shown in pale green , mapsize = 290px , image_map2 = Gibraltar map-en-edit2.svg , map ...

Gibraltar


European Travel Commission classification

European Travel Commission divides the European region on the basis of Tourism Decision Metrics (TDM) model. Countries which belong to the Southern/Mediterranean Europe in this classification are:European Tourism 2014 – Trends & Prospects (Q2/2014)
page 5
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Medite ...

Albania
,
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
,
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in . Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; is its largest and capital city, followed by . Situated on the southern tip of the , ...

Greece
,
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 largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
,
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern subregion of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of ...

Malta
,
Montenegro Montenegro (; cnr, Crna Gora, , , ; sq, Mali i zi) is a country in . It is located on the and is a part of the , sharing borders with to the northeast, to the north and west, to the east, to the southeast, the Adriatic Sea and to the ...

Montenegro
,
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subr ...
,
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, ...

Portugal
,
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refe ...

Serbia
,
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, lin ...

Slovenia
,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
,
East Thrace East Thrace landscape in Edirne Province, Turkey East Thrace or Eastern Thrace ( tr, Doğu Trakya or simply ''Trakya''; el, Ανατολική Θράκη, ''Anatoliki Thraki''; bg, Източна Тракия, ''Iztochna Trakiya''), also kn ...
.


See also

* Central Europe * Eastern Europe *
EU Med Group EU Med or EuroMed 7 or MED7, which is also referred to as "Club Med" and "Med Group", is an alliance of seven List of Mediterranean countries, Mediterranean and Southern European Union member states, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, ...
* Eurovoc#Southern Europe *
Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ...
* Northern Europe * Southeast Europe * Western Europe


References

{{Authority control Southern Europe, Regions of Europe