Italy lies in southern Europe and is a peninsula that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea. The country includes the islands of Sicily and Sardinia and around seventy lesser islands in the surrounding seas. Italy has a diverse landscape, the country is mountainous and the north is dominated by the Alps. The main lowland area is the Po river valley in the northeast. This region is the agricultural, industrial and most populous region in Italy. The climate is Mediterranean throughout Italy. The north experiences cold wet winters with heavy snowfall in the Alpine regions. Agriculture plays an important role in the economy and exports include cereals, fruit, vegetables and wine. Italy is one of the world´s largest wine producers. The industrial north is the centre of manufacturing that includes office equipment, domestic appliances, cars, clothing, chemicals and metal products The tourism and service sector is very strong and a major employer in Italy. Banking and finance is also important
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