Mezzogiorno, Italy A European Peripheral Region What is a peripheral region? A peripheral region is a region that is isolated from another region because of physical and human factors. This means that it is physically and economically isolated from the 'main' region. So……………. Why is the Mezzogiorno a peripheral region? Clue 1 A red soil called Terra Rossa is the most common soil in Italy. This soil which is rich in iron oxide limits what can grow in this region but it is suitable for crops like vines (viticulture) Most of the soil is in a thin layer on the steep slopes Richer, fertile soil is found around the foothills of the volcanoes: In the campania region around Mt. Vesuvius and on the island of Sicily around Mt. Etna. Also, river alluvium sees the areas around the main rivers (Brandano, Volturno and Agri) being extremely fertile. Naples and Vesuvius The Apennine mountains run down the centre of Italy right down to the TOE called Calabria. 85% of the land is classified as mountainous or upland. The mountains range from 40km to 200km wide in parts of the Mezzo. The three main volcanoes are Vesuvius, Etna and Stromolli (nicknamed the Lighthouse of the Mediterranean. The main rivers found in this area are the Brandano, Volturno and Agri. A small hill top town in Basilicata. The Apennines – hills and steep slopes The soils can be thin and alkaline. The Mediterranean Climate brings conditions such as: 11 to 29◦C temperatures. 500mm to 900mm rainfall – differs from West to East (rain shadow provided by the Apennines). In fact Naples gets around 700mm of rain while Bari only receives around 400mm. This region receives little frost but a warm, dry wind from Africa called the Sirrocco tends to dry out the soil creating difficult farming conditions. Modern irrigation of young olive trees Olives are collected in a silk ‘parachute’. Farming has changed slowly. Many have low wages. Mosquitoes breed in swampy low ground. An olive oil processing machine New Fiat car factory at Melfi Long dry sunny summers : quiet beaches Tourism potential. Much immigration from eastern Europe and north Africa. Basilicata – investment in improved road access The Special Fund for the South has now ended. The Cassa del Mezzogiorno. A lot of Italians are elderly. Many young people leave the South. Summary Primary economic activities: The Mezzogiorno is a peripheral or problem region. Students should de able to give some reasons for poor agricultural development here (94 per cent of farms are considered small). The reasons include poor soil quality, low rainfall and the fact that 80 per cent of the land is either hilly or mountainous. Secondary economic activities: Manufacturing is poorly developed overall in the Mezzogiorno. Reasons for this include poor energy supplies, poor communications and poor markets. Attempts have been made by the government since the early 1960s to solve these problems. The work of the Cassa per il Mezzogiorno (a development fund in operation up until the 1980s) is important here. Tertiary economic activities: The Mediterranean climate is an excellent tourist attraction. The region needs, however, to develop the transport infrastructure and tourist facilities in order to reap the benefits of the tourist industry. Attractions in the region include Sicily, Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii.