The diverse and picturesque contours of southern Italy, known for its boot-like shape, take centre stage in this Envisat image. Its varied landscape is made up of sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, rocky mountains, broad plains, rolling hills and volcanoes.
The boot’s toe, which 'kicks' the island of Sicily, is made up of the Calabria region, the heel is made up of the Apulia region, and the ankle comprises the regions of Abruzzo, Campania and southern Lazio.
This part of the Italian Peninsula is surrounded by the Tyrhennian (centre left), Ionian (bottom right) and Adriatic (top) Seas, which are all part of the Mediterranean. The light green colour of the water along the Adriatic is caused by sediments being carried into the sea by rivers and then being distributed along the coast by currents.
Stretching the entire length of the peninsula, the Apennine Mountains are visible under a dusting of snow. Signs of volcanism are clearly seen in the image. Mount Vesuvius is visible as a white circle inland from the Bay of Naples on the west coast, and the larger Mount Etna is visible in Sicily.
Parts of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and Greece are visible in the upper right.
This image was acquired by Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer on 25 January at a resolution of 300 m.