File - Leaving Certificate Geography

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.
Why is the
Mezzogiorno a
Clue 1
A red soil called Terra Rossa is the most common soil in
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
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
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
Farming has
changed slowly.
Many have low
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.
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
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
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.

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