Italy: A Popular Account of the Country, Its People, and Its Institutions (Including Malta and Sardinia)

By W. Deecke; H. A. Nesbitt | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
Climate

THE climate of Italy may be described as temperate, as the winter, owing to the low latitude, is not too severe and the summer is not too hot, owing to the wide expanse of sea around. At the same time the several provinces differ greatly in climate, as might be expected in a country extending through ten degrees of latitude, with the high land of the Alps at one end and dry Africa in the neighbourhood of the other. We may divide Italy into four sections in regard to climate: 1st, Upper Italy as far as 45° 30' N. lat., with a minimum temperature of 14° F., 2nd, Central Italy to 41° 30', the region of olive, lemon and orange trees, where the winter is seldom severe, though snow falls as a rule on the mountains, with a minimum of 21.2 F., 3rd, Lower Italy to 39° N. lat. where the lowest is 26.6° F., and 4th, Sicily, where the temperature does not fall below the freezing point.

The Apennines have a great influence on the climate, as they keep off the north and north-east winds from the parts of the country lying to the west, so that the Adriatic coasts have more severe winters and hotter summers than the Tyrrhenian. The plain of Lombardy obviously depends on the Alps in regard to its climate, and in the sharper contrast between summer and winter it is stamped with a more continental character than any other part of Italy.

Observations on the temperature, the barometer, the rainfall, and the winds have been taken in various places since the beginning of the nineteenth century, especially at the observatories, but also occasionally by private persons. They were first organized and unified in 1866 when twenty-one stations for weather observations were established and placed in regular telegraphic communication with Florence, the then capital, so that it has become possible to make forecasts of the weather. This central institution was removed to Rome in 1880 after the transference of the capital, and united with the officio centrale mateorologico e geodinamico, the number of stations being at the same time doubled.

Weather, temperature, and rainfall are dependent on the winds. In Italy the north wind coming over the Apennines is called Tramon-

-73-

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Italy: A Popular Account of the Country, Its People, and Its Institutions (Including Malta and Sardinia)
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Translator's Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Chapter I - Boundaries Extent and Contour 1
  • Chapter II - The Surrounding Seas 7
  • Chapter III - History of Discovery 14
  • Chapter IV - Relief of the Country 19
  • Chapter V - Geological Construction 35
  • Chapter VI - Climate 73
  • Chapter VII - Hydrography 85
  • Chapter VIII - Plants and Animals 112
  • Chapter IX - Population 126
  • Chapter X - History 152
  • Chapter XI - Products 168
  • Chapter XII - Commerce, Traffic and Manufactures 229
  • Chapter XIII - Political Institutions 245
  • Chapter XIV - The Church and Public Worship 298
  • Chapter XV - Art, Language and Science 312
  • Chapter XVI - Topography 340
  • Appendix I 467
  • Appendix II 469
  • Index 471
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