Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Apennines (Kelt. Pen, summit), the name given to the whole mountain system of Italy, which extends from the Maritime Alps, near Genoa, to Cape Spartivento, a length of some 800 miles, and reappears again under another name in Sicily. The average neight of the chain is about 4,000 feet, but it sinks below that in the north, whilst in the Abruzzi it rises to 7,000 feet. The highest peaks are Monte Corno (9,593), Monte Cornaro (8,960), and Monte Velino (7,910). The Apennines are divided into three sections: - 1. The Northern, terminating at Monte Cornaro. 2. The Central, reaching as far as Monte Velino, and throwing out lateral ranges into Tuscany and Roumania. 3. The Southern, which includes Monte Corno and Vesuvius, and bifurcates near Acerenza, stretching one limb towards Reggio and the other towards Otranto. Unlike the Alps or the Pyrenees, this range displays swelling undulations, unbroken by bare rocks or jagged peaks except in the loftier regions. It presents the same geological features geneially as the Alps. The main axis shows Secondary formations from the trias to the upper chalk, while the minor ranges are composed of Tertiary strata, Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene beds being well developed, especially in the north. Volcanic action, ancient or recent, is everywhere to be recognised, in crater lakes, such as those of Albano and Nervi, in Solfatara and other chemical deposits, in marble quarries, in caves and grottos and mineral springs, and in the periodical eruptions of Vesuvius and Etna. The southern tributaries of the Po, the Arno, the Tiber, and the Volturno, take their rise in this watershed.