This map shows Italy and its neighbors to the north and east. Italy shares land borders with six countries (France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Vatican City, San Marino) and maritime borders with 10 countries (Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Malta, Spain).
France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia border Italy along its north, with the foothills and mountains of the mighty Alps creating a dramatic natural border from west to east.
Italy also completely surrounds two small countries: Vatican City and San Marino. Vatican City is located entirely inside the city of Rome, Italy’s capital. San Marino is situated between the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna and Le Marche.
The Italian peninsula is surrounded by four seas: the Ligurian Sea, the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Adriatic Sea, and the Ionian Sea. All of these seas are arms of the greater Mediterranean Sea.
The Ligurian Sea, in the northwest, laps up against the regions of Liguria and Tuscany, as well as the east coast of the French island of Corsica. The most important city on the Ligurian Sea is Genoa, which was once a maritime power and still commands one of Italy’s largest ports.
The Ligurian Sea flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea at the Tuscan Archipelago, the island group that includes Elba. The Tyrrhenian extends all along the west coast of Italy, from Tuscany to Calabria. It also hugs the northern coast of Sicily and the east coast of Sardinia.
The Adriatic Sea separates Italy from the Balkan countries of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Albania. Seven Italian regions touch the Adriatic: Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Le Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, and Puglia. The largest port is Trieste in Friuli-Giulia Venezia.
Italy shares a maritime border with Greece via the Ionian Sea. The regions of Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, and Sicily all touch the Ionian Sea. These regions, along with Campania, are also where you will find remnants of Ancient Greece when southern Italy was part of Magna Grecia. Temples, amphitheaters, and other ruins can be found at Paestum (Campania), Taormina (Sicily), and Taranto (Puglia), among other locations.
A fifth sea, the Sardinian Sea, separates the west coast of Sardinia from the Balearic Islands of Spain. The Mediterranean Sea serves as Italy’s maritime border with Malta, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.
Learn More About Italy’s 20 Regions
- Friuli-Venezia Giulia
- Le Marche
- Trentino Alto Adige
- Val D’Aosta