Apeninne Mountains, Italy.

The Apennine Mountains

The Apennine Mountains are a range of mountains that consist of several smaller parallel chains extending for about 1,200 km along the entire length of the Italian Peninsula.

The chain of Apennine Mountains joins the Ligurian Alps at the Altare municipality in the northwest and ends at the coastal city of Reggio di Calabria in the southwest. This mountain system forms the backbone of the Italian Peninsula and extends through the southern part of Italy and then passes beneath the narrow Strait of Messina into the island of Sicily.

The notable rivers in the Apennine Mountains are Tiber, Arno, and Volturno rivers. Covering an area of 128 km in the Umbria-Marche Apennines is Lake Trasimeno, the largest lake in the Apennine Mountains and one of the largest in Italy.


Extending from the southwest to northeastern Italy, the Apennine Mountain range has a maximum width of about 250 km. This long mountain range can be divided into 3 sections, namely: The Northern, Central, and Southern Apennines.

The Northern Apennines

Northern Apennines, Italy.

Also known as Appennino settentrionale, this section is further subdivided into three sub-chains, namely the Ligurian Apennines (Appennino ligure), the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines (Appennino tosco-emiliano), and the Umbrian Apennines (Appennino umbro). The Ligurian Apennines border the Ligurian Sea in the Gulf of Genoa which separates it from the upper Po Valley. The northwestern border of the Ligurian Apennines runs along the Bormida River to the Italian city of Acqui Terme.

Located in northern Italy in the Ligurian Apennines is Monte Maggiorasca, which rises to an elevation of 1,800 m and is the highest peak in the Ligurian Apennines. The Tuscan-Emilian Apennines begin at Cisa Pass and turn southeast, crossing the Italian peninsula at the border between Tuscany and the Emilia-Romagna regions. Monte Cimone, located in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, rises to an elevation of 2,165 m and is the highest point in the Northern Apennines.

The Central Apennines

The road to Corno Grande, the tallest mountain in the Apennines, locatd in Abruzzo, Italy. 

Also known as Appennino centrale, it is further subdivided into the Abruzzi Apennines (Appennino abruzzese) in the south and the Roman Apennines or the Umbria-Marche Apennines (Appennino umbro-marchigiano) in the north. The western border of the Umbri-Marche Apennines passes through the town of Cagli and extends southwards into the Tronto River. The highest point of the Umbria-Marche Apennines is Monte Vettore, which also forms a part of Monti Sibillini and rises to an elevation of 2,478 m.

The Abruzzi Apennines is situated in the Italian regions of Abruzzo, Molise, and southeastern Lazio and comprises some of the most rugged and highest peaks of the Apennine mountain range. The eastern mountain chain of the Abruzzi Apennine comprises the Gran Sasso d’Italia Massif, the Majella Massif, the Monti della Laga and the southern part of Monti Sibillini mountains. Located in the Central Italian region of Abruzzo is Corno Grande, which rises to an elevation of 2,912 m and is the highest peak in the entire Apennine Mountains.

The Southern Apennines

Sicily seen from Pizzo Carbonara, the tallest mountain in the Southern Apennines.

Also known as Appennino meridionale, this section is further subdivided into four major mountain groups, namely the Samnite Apennines, the Lucan Apennines, the Campanian Apennines, and the Calabrian Apennines. The subranges of the Southern Apennines are further broken down into smaller mountain groups, in the southern part of the Sangro valley. 

The valley of Ofanto serves as the termination point of the first range of the Lucan Apennines in the north of this section. Located in southern Italy in the Pollino National Park is Monte Pollino, which rises to an elevation of 2,233 m and is the highest point in the Lucan Apennines. Extending along the Calabrese region in the northern part of Sicily are the Calabrian Apennines. Located in the Palermo Province of Sicily is Pizzo Carbonara, which rises to an elevation of 1,979 m and is the highest point in the Calabrian (Sicilian) Apennines.


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