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Sunday, July 22, 2012

How many islands do belong to Italy?


File:Italy topographic map-blank.svg
It is worldwide well known that Italy is the famous boot-shaped Peninsula that southwards stretches into the Mediterranean Sea. It is also acknowledged that the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea - Sicily and Sardinia – belong to Italy, however it is less known that many other smaller islands belong to the Italian territory. Many, but how many???
Well, difficult answer, I have therefore started “counting” them and the following table summarises some first results of my curious, geographer-wise due, analysis, showing figures referring to the islands legally and politically belonging to Italy. Starting from the Wikipedia archive then modified,  I have created a very long list of most of the islands,  grouped according to their  geography and geomorphology (marine islands, lagoon, lake and river).
Let’s enjoy together doing some initial consideration, statistics and highlighting curiosities.
First of all, it is amazing to discover that nearly 1/5 of the Italian total inland area is insular. Out of 294,020 km² of land, the total area covered by islands largely exceeds 50,000 km² (precisely, 50729,36282 km², but I am still in the process of calculating the precise surface)
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, but also the biggest in Italy and seventh in the European Continent.
My Island, Sardinia represents the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, second largest in Italy and eighths in Europe, the 48th in the World.
Well, the total updated number of Italian islands (including all) is 458, divided between 356 maritime islands, 65 lagoon islands, 33 lake islands and 4 river islands): WOW!
We can list 13 marine archipelagos, the Arcipelago Isole Eolie (o Isole Lipari) being the richest in number.
And now, a nice bit! Sardinia excels above all Italian Regions for numbers of island: 189, between marine and lake islands. Following is Sicily with 73, Basilicata accounts only one island; however some Italian region showing coastline amazingly don’t have islands ( for example, Emilia Romagna).
The analysis is in progress, soon I will be able to publish a reliable figure referring to the coastline length (km) of all 458 island and the total for Italy. 
I don’t know that figure yet, however, allow me to make this simple consideration: the Italian coastal heritage, largely thanks to the countless number of small islands, is immense and represents the true pearls reservoir of the Country, a real open pit mine, available for us since ever.  Let’s not endure losing the opportunity to display our pearls, wearing them as our best dress of civilisation and pride.

type
356
marine
65
lagoon
33
lake
4
river
458
total
50729,4
km2 calculated for marine is (not final)
13
arcipelaghi marini
nr. islands per Regions
189
Sardegna (2 lake islands)
73
Sicilia
64
Veneto (60 lagoon – 3 lake islands)
38
Toscana
21
Campania
19
Puglia (1 lake island)
11
Lombardia (lake islands only)
11
Lazio (4 lake islands)
9
Piemonte (lake islands only)
5
Liguria
5
Friuli Venezia Giulia (lagoon islands only)
4
Calabria
3
Umbria (lake islands only)
1
Basilicata