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Trying to mentally gauge the size of Italy!

Trying to mentally gauge the size of Italy!

Jan 21st, 2007, 01:07 PM
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Trying to mentally gauge the size of Italy!

I am trying to get a feel for how big Italy is. Would traveling in Italy be generally comparable in size to traveling in California? My Nat'l Geographic atlas has different scales for USA and Europe.

vivi is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 01:23 PM
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In my atlases, both are the size of my forefinger. Wait, you are right, the scales are different

Seriously, italia is roughly as big as arizona.
Jan 21st, 2007, 01:23 PM
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Italy = 116,000 square miles
California = 163,707
Arizona = 114,006

or the equivalent of two of Georgia or Illinois


(Ain't Google grand?)

starrsville is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 01:29 PM
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California is slightly "longer" and a bit "wider". Total land are is about 156,000 square miles for CA, and 115,000 for Italy.

And CA is basically one big piece of land, while Italy has two very large islands - Sicily and Saridinia.

When you travel, land area and size aren't the only thing. For example, Italy has some highspeed rail (Florence-Rome-Naples and Milan-Turin). California has none. And the sizes of cities are very different. You can spend a couple of hours driving and still in the LA Metropolitan. In Italy, a few miles can bring you from one important historical town to another one.

Roads are different too. Speed on the autostrada can be a little higher than on the interstate, but no significant difference. But once you get on the smaller roads, your speed can drop trememdously because they often go through towns, and can be narrow.

And you can take trains and buses to virtually any town. Public transportation is much more spotty in California.

So, area and distance is only one part in planning travel.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 01:37 PM
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rhapsody and starrsville give you good answers when comparing Italy to Arizona; at least according to the CIA Worldfactbook (https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications...k/geos/it.html).
capkirk1 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 02:57 PM
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vivi; I don't recall the exact question but I once posted something like this with the train schedules.

Watch the sunrise over Mt. Vesuvius in Naples.

Train to Rome, hop on the metro, walk thru the Roman Forum and around the Colosseum, metro back to station.

Train to Florence, walk over and see Michangelo's David with a reserved ticket and walk back to station.

Train to Venice, walk from the station to Piazza San Marco, enjoy a nice dinner and watch the sunset over drinks.
Regards, Walter
ParadiseLost is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 02:59 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I had looked up the square mileage in the atlases, I guess I was just trying to put Italian travel into the context of the extensive travel I done in CA as Italy and CA seem like they are shaped the same. I don't know why I am stymied about planning my trip to Italy ( my 5th trip to Europe.) I have several good guidebooks, Streetwise maps, and I have read a lot on various travel sites. But for some reason I have a mental roadblock when it comes to Italy! Maybe becuase it is so diverse--beaches, alps, ruins, churches, hill towns, canals...
vivi is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 03:16 PM
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It's basically meaningless to compare Italy to Arizona in terms of travel. Shape is different, geography is different, population is vastly different (Italy has more than 10x the population), amount of stuff to see is different, transportation can't be any more different...

So, when you're planning travel, stop thinking about size. It's so irrelevant, unless you're just driving and doing nothing else.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 04:16 PM
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I did a mapquest.com search on directions in Italy for Venice to Naples - the distance is 455 miles, 6 hrs. 16 mins., pretty much autostrada the whole way. I can't remember the source but I seem to remember reading that Italy is about 600 miles long. From my perspective that would be like driving from Atlanta, GA to Washington, DC, depending on stops and speed, about 10-11 hrs.
toni_g_b is offline  
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