By Harry Healy
The Apennines Mountains
Size: The mountain range is about 870 miles long and 25 to 125 miles wide. The highest point is about 10,000 feet above sea level.
Physical Characteristics: The Apennines run from the northwest to the southeast and mostly run along the center of Italy's boot shape. The mountains have a lot of forest cover. The forests in the north have a lot of pines, oaks, chestnut, and beech trees. In the south the growth has more bushes and smaller trees, including the oleander. The oleander is a flowery evergreen. In lower areas of the mountains people grow olive trees and some citrus fruits. The soil type on the Apennines contains a lot of basalt and extrusive rocks, which are volcanic rocks from lava flows.
The climate in higher parts of the mountains is called continental, with temperatures like in central Europe. Summers get very hot, and winters get very cold like in Minnesota. In July the average temperatures are from 75°-90°. The mountains receive about 40 to 80 inches a year. The heavier rain is on the eastern side. Snowfalls are pretty frequent with cold temperatures in the winter.
The mountains have fresh water rivers and lakes. The rivers run mostly short distances. The Tiber River and the Arno River are the two main rivers running down from the mountains.
Some of the animals living on the apennines include bear, wild boars, insects, wolfs, types of mountain goats, and more. There is also a lot of pasture land and grazing farm animals in the mountains. Some marine life that lives in the apennines are freshwater fish, some types of krill, and shrimp.
Human made characteristics: There's not much that humans have made in the Apennines except some small cities and villages and farmhouses. There are railroad lines that run through the mountains. There are also roads and highways connecting the towns. Many of the roads are narrow and winding. They are famous for being scenic roads. Getting around can be slow and difficult.
Language and religion: In and near the Apennines people speak Italian and different forms of it. Many people also know some French. Catholics make up the most common religion. There other Christians there too.
Political system: Italy is a parliamentary republic since June 2, 1946. That came right after World War II. The country was ruled by a dictator in the war. There was some fighting in the Apennines during the World War II.
Natural resources, economic activities, and population distribution: People in the Apennines mostly live in small villages, and they raise crops and livestock. There are also marble quarries in the mountains. The marble from this area has been famous for centuries. There is also some mining in the mountains. They mine for mercury, sulfur, and other things. Most of Italy's population lives outside of the Apennines. The Apennines only have about 20% of the population in the country. About 60,000,000 people in all live in Italy.
Analysis: The Apennines Mountains affect the lives of people there hugely because a lot of people don't like to live in mountains because its hard to build houses and buildings on a hill or mountain top. So the population is small, and the people depend on raising animals and crops. They also work in mines and quarries. They also live with small roads that make it harder to get around, but they live in a place that is very scenic.