Apennine Mountains - a classification

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Apennine Mountains - a classification
Created On: Nov 1, 2014
Last Edited On: Apr 18, 2015

The Apennine Mountains

Apennine mountains
Apennine mountains

The Apennines (or Apennine mountains) are an extremely varied mountain chain which occupies great parts of the Italian mainland. Their latitudinal extension comes to a total length of about 1,500 kilometers, while their longitudinal extension varies greatly, between 30 and 250 kilometers.

The Apennines are generally divided into a northern, a central and a southern area. This differentiation, however, may have rather historical than genuinely geological or geographical origins. 

With the exception of the Sila and the Aspromonte ranges in the very south (both consisting of granitic rocks), the major part of these mountains consist of calcareous or limestone rocks and argillaceous shale. The Monti della Laga, one of the central ranges, consists mainly of marl and sandstone. The highest peaks and the largest extension of the Apennines can be found in its central part.

The Northern Apennines reach from the pass Bocchetta di Altare (459 m a.s.l.) to the pass Bocca Trabaria (1,049 m a.s.l.) or the pass Bocca Serriola (730 m. a.s.l.), the Central Apennines from the latter to the pass Bocca di Forlì (891 m a.s.l.), and the Southern Apennines from the latter to the Aspromonte range and the Strait of Messina which devides mainland Italy from Sicily.



Note: This list is meant as a general overview. It is a mere schematic approach. It does neither provide specific information about the single mountain ranges mentioned below nor is it claiming exhaustiveness.

Classification and Subdivion

Regarding the classification and subdivision of the Apennines and their mountain ranges it is useful to always keep in mind that classifications are usually made both in a latitudinal and a longitudinal sense. 

Latitudinal subdivion

As pointed out above, the latitudinal subdivision, i.e. from north to south, counts generally 3 main areas: the Northern Apennines (or Appennino settentrionale), the Central Apennines (or Appennino Centrale) and the Southern Apennines (or Appennino meridionale). 

These main areas are further divided into a number of major regions which take their names from the regions of contemporary Italy, with the exception of the Appennino Sannita which takes its name from a historical region, the so-called 'Sannio', once inhabited by the acient tribe of the Samnites.

Unnamed Image
Italy (regions)
Appennino Settentrionale
- Appennino Ligure
- Appennino Tosco-Emiliano 
  (also Tosco-Romagnolo)

Appennino Centrale
- Appennino Umbro-Marchigiano
- Appennino Abruzzese

Appennino meridionale
- Appennino Sannita
- Appennino Campano
- Appennino Lucano
- Appennino Calabro




An exceptional position occupy the mountain ranges of Sicily. Strictly speaking no part of the Southern Apennines, they are sometimes considered an extension of the Apennine mountains of the mainland. They are often summarized as 'Monti della Sicilia' and generally addressed as the Appennino Siculo. This name derives from the Sicels (Latin: Siculi), an Italic tribe which inhabited the eastern parts of Sicily during the Iron Age.

Longitudinal subdivision

The longitudinal subdivision, i.e. from west to east, also counts 3 different zones: the actual Apennines, the Sub-Apennines and the Anti-Apennines. 

The actual Apennines constitute the backbone of the Italian peninsula. They also comprise the highest peaks (total elevations) of the Italian mainland outside the Alps. 

The Sub-Apennines are fairly independent ranges and running parallel to the principal mountain chains. In their geological features they often differ significantly from the core regions, and their peaks are mostly lower than those of the more central parts of the Apennines. They cover vast areas of several regions of Italy.

The Anti-Apennines are thoroughly indepedent ranges and separated from the main chains by vast valleys or extensive lowlands. Also for their classification are being used the names of the regions of contemporary Italy, with the exception of the Subappenino Lucano, the Subappennino Dauno - both referring to ancient Italic tribes (the Lucani and the Daunians) - and the Subappennino Apulo-Garganico, a minor mountain range in the north of the region Apulia. The Anti-Apennines are usually situated in proximity to the coast of the Adriatic or the Tyrrhenian Sea.


Sub-Apennines
- Subappennino Toscano
- Subappennino Laziale
- Subappennino Abruzzese-Molisano
- Subappennino Lucano
- Subappennino Dauno

Anti-Apennines
- Antiappennino Toscano
- Antiappennino Laziale
- Antiappennino Campano
- Antiappennino Apulo-Garganico

Ranges, Subranges and Groups


Here below you will find a (surely incomplete) list of areas, subareas* and ranges, subranges or mountain groups of the Apennines, Sub-Apennines and Anti-Apennines, respectively. The list is trying to follow a latitudinal order, i.e. The areas from north to south, which, for obvious reasons, is not always possible. 

*Sorted under 'subarea' are only ranges (or mountain chains) belonging either to the Sub-Apennines or the Anti-Apennines, both parallel running to one of the main ranges of the Apennines.

The highest elevation is the highest peak of either a subarea, range, subrange or group. The highest peak of an entire area is marked with '^'.


area 




subarea*rangesubrangegrouphighest elevation
Appennino 
Settentrionale
 Appennino
Ligure


 Monte Maggiorasca
(1,804 m)
  Appennino
Tosco-Emiliano 

CimoneMonte Cimone
(2,165 m)^
 Antiappennino
Toscano
  Gruppo dell'Amiata
Monte Amiata
(1,738 m)
 Antiappennino
Toscano
 Colline Metallifere Cornate di Gerfalco
(1,060 m)
Appennino 
Centrale
 Appennino
Umbro-Marchigiano
Monti Sibillini Monte Vettore
(2,467 m)

 Appennino
Abruzzese
Monti Reatini Monte Terminillo
(2,217 m)
   Monti della Laga Monte Gorzano
(2,458 m)
   Gran Sasso d'Italia Corno Grande^
(2,912 m)
 Subappennino
Laziale
 Monti Ernici Monte del Passegio
(2,064 m)
   
Monti CantariMonte Viglio
(2,156 m)
   
Monti CarseolaniCima di Vallevona
(1,808 m)
 Subappennino
Laziale
 Monti Sabini Monte Tancia
(1,282 m)
 Subappennino
Laziale
 Monti Affilani Monte delle Pianezze
(1,332 m)
 Subappennino
Laziale
 Monti Prenestini Monte Guadagnolo
(1,218 m)
 Subappennino
Laziale
 Monti Ruffi Monte Costasole
(1,253 m)
 Subappennino
Laziale
 Monti Tiburtini Colle Cerrito Piano
(795 m)
 Subappennino
Laziale

Monti Simbruini Monte Cotento
(2,015 m)
   Sirente-VelinoGruppo del SirenteMonte Sirente
(2,349 m)
  

Gruppo del Velino
Monte Velino
(2,487 m)
    Monti della DuchessaMonte il Costone
(2,271 m)
    Monti della Magnola
Monte Magnola
(2,220 m)
    Monti di Campo FeliceMonte Puzzillo
(2,174 m)
 Subappennino
Laziale

Monti Marsicani Monte Greco
(2,285 m)
 
Appennino
Abruzzese
La Maiella Monte Amaro
(2,793 m)

Subappennino
Abruzzese-Molisano


Monti dei FrentaniMonte Castelfraiano
(1,412 m)
 Antiappennino
Laziale
 Monti Volsini
 Poggio del Torrone
(690 m)
 Antiappennino
Laziale
 Monti Cimini
 Monte Cimino
(1,053 m)
 Antiappennino
Laziale
 Monti Sabatini
 Monte Rocca Romana
(609 m)
 Antiappennino
Laziale
 Monti della Tolfa
 Monte delle Grazie
(616 m)
Appennino
Meridionale
 Appennino
Sannita
Massiccio del
Matese
 Monte Miletto
(2,050 m)
 Subappennino
Dauno
 Monti Dauni Monte Cornaccia
(1,152 m)
 Antiappennino
Apulo-Garganico

Gargano 
(Sperone d'Italia)

Monte Calvo
(1,065 m)
 Antiappennino
Apulo-Garganico
 Le Murge Torre Disperata
(686 m)
 Antiappennino
Campano


Gruppo del 
Roccamonfina
Monte Santa Croce
(1,005 m)
 Antiappennino
Campano
  Monte Massico
Monte Massico
(813 m)
 Antiappennino
Campano
 Monti Trebulani
 Monte Maggiore
(1,036 m)
 Antiappennino
Campano
 Monti Tifatini
Monte Tifata
(602 m)
 Antiappennino
Campano
 
 Monte Vesuvio
(1,281 m)
 Antiappennino
Campano
 Monti Lattari
 Monte San Michele
(1,444 m)

 Appennino
Lucano
Sellata-Volturino-Viggiano
 Monte Volturino
(1,836 m)
   Dolomiti
Lucane
 Monte Caperrino
(1,455 m)
   Monti della
Maddalena
 Monte Cavallo
(1,503 m)
 Subappennino
Lucano
 
Monti del CilentoMonte Cervati
(1,898 m)
 Subappennino
Lucano
  Monti AlburniMonte Panormo
(1,742 m)
   
Monte AlpiPizzo Falcone
(1,900 m)
 Subappennino
Lucano
 
 Monte Vulture
(1,326 m)
   Massiccio del Sirino Monte del Papa
(2,005 m)
    Monti La Spina-
Zaccana
Monte La Spina
(1,652 m)
  
Massiccio del
Pollino
 Serra Dolcedorme^
(2,267 m)
  
Massicio del
Pellegrino
 Cozzo del Pellegrino
(1,987 m)
  Appennino
Calabro

Catena CostieraMonte Cocuzzo
(1,541 m)
  
La SilaSila GrandeMonte Botte Donato
(1,928 m)
    Sila PiccolaMonte Gariglione
(1,765 m)
   Aspromonte
Montalto
(1,956 m)
    Catena delle SerreMonte Pecoraro
(1,423 m)
Appennino
Siculo
  Monti della SiciliaMonti PeloritaniMontagna Grande
(1,347 m)
   
Monti NebrodiMonte Soro
(1,847 m)
   
Le MadoniePizzo Carbonara^
(1,979 m)









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