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Area: 116,305 square miles
Languages: Italian is the official language; French and English are also spoken.
Location: Italy is bordered by France, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, the Ligurian Sea, the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Ionian Sea, the Adriatic Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea.
Geography: Italy lies in southern Europe and includes the Mediterranean islands of Siciliy, Sardinia, and several other small islands. Campania (the region of Naples, Sorrento, and the Amalfi coast) has 220 miles of coastline and is on the southwestern side of the Italian peninsula. Its two famous gulfs, the Bay of Naples and Gulf of Salerno, are enclosed by picturesque promontories, including the Sorrento Peninsula. The region of Tuscany is a blend of rugged hills, fertile valleys, and long stretches of sandy beaches that curve along the west coast of central Italy and fringe the pine-forested coastal plain of the Maremma.
Population (2007 estimate): 58,145,321
Religion: Roman Catholic 98%, Other 2%
Time zone: Italy is on Central European Time, six hours ahead of U.S. EST. When it is 6am in New York, it is noon in Rome. Daylight Saving Time begins the last weekend in March and ends the last weekend in October.
Area: 211,208 square miles
Languages: French is the official language.
Location: France is bordered by Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
Geography: France is a large country, two and a half times as big as Great Britain, extending for some 600 miles from north to south and from east to west. Except for extreme northern France, which is part of the Flanders plain, the country may be described as four river basins and a plateau. Three of the streams flow west—the Seine into the English Channel, the Loire into the Atlantic, and the Garonne into the Bay of Biscay. The Rhône flows south into the Mediterranean. For about 100 miles, the Rhine is France's eastern border. In the Alps, near the Italian and Swiss borders, is Europe's highest point—Mont Blanc, at 15,781 feet.
Population (2007 estimate): 64,057,790
Religions: Roman Catholic (85%), Muslim (7%), Protestant (2%), Jewish (1%), unaffiliated (5%)
Time zone: France is on Central European Time, six hours head of U.S. EST. When it is 6am in New York, it is noon in Paris. Daylight Saving Time begins the last Sunday in March and ends the last Sunday in October.