California State Overview

California general data

  • Time zone: 9 hours less than Italy
  • Capital: Sacramento
  • Main towns: Anaheim, Antelope Valley, Berkeley; Bakersfield, Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles; Oakland, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego; San Francisco, San José.
  • Area: 000 km²
  • Population: Approximately 39,000,000 inhabitants.
  • Population density: 94,8 residents / km²
  • State abbreviation: CA
  • Entry into the United States: It joins the United States, on 9 September 1850 it is the 31st state to join the union.

According to, California is a huge state that occupies 1,352 km of the Pacific coast, from the border with Mexico to the borders of the state of Oregon. Given its extension, equivalent to almost one and a half times, the surface of Italy presents a great variety, both from the topographical point of view and from the natural resources. It comprises three main regional blocks: the Central Valley of California, to the east the Sierra Nevada which gradually rises up to Mount Whitney, of 4,418m, and to the west the Coast Range which forms parallel ridges from 1,600 to 2,000m in height. and separates the central valley from the narrow coastal strip. To these three main areas we can add the desert basins of the southwest and the wilderness of the north.

The coastal strip is characterized by sandy beaches, and to the north, headlands such as Cape Mendocino and the Monterey peninsula. Natural harbors abound in California, including the bays of San Francisco, San Diego and Monterey. The state includes two large groups of islands: those of Santa Barbara and those of Farallon.

The Coastal Range, its mountains separate the coastal strip from the central valley. This geographical unit extends from Cape Mendocino to Punta Conception. To the north, the mountain range forms an extensive steep area, called the Klamanth Mountains, Mount Lassen and Mount Shasta the main peaks, while to the south, they extend into the Ios Angeles cordillera.

The Central Valley of California. It is wedged between the Coastal Range and the Sierra Nevada. It is a rift valley full of alluvial sediments and of great fertility. Given its wealth, the most important cities of the state are located in this area.

Sierra Nevada. The central valley is bordered to the east by the Sierra Nevada, with gentle slopes to the west, but steeper on the east side, with many lakes, canyons and woodlands. In the southern section of the Sierra Nevada is Mount Whitney (4,418m), the highest point in California.

the south-eastern region, comprising numerous desert areas and arid basins including the Great Basin, where the great Mojave desert and the Death Valley are located, and finally the coastal strip, geologically unstable and characterized by many fractures, including the fearsome fault of Sant Andrea.

As for hydrography, the most important rivers in California are the Sacramento and the San Joaquin which flow in the central valley. The first flows in the northern region of the valley and the second in the east. The two rivers join north of San Francisco to flow into Suisun Bay near the city. Other rivers in the state are: the Tuolumne, the Merced, and the Kern. The Colorado River marks the border between California and Arizona. The Clear and the Salton are the largest lakes in the Californian territory.

Flora and fauna – The great variety of the climate is reflected in the large number of plant and animal species. The humid northwest has large coniferous forests extending south along the coast beyond Monterey; coastal forests include very tall trees, such as sequoia, which sometimes exceed 110 m; much of the Coastal Range is covered by a dense and characteristic scrub, called chaparral, as well as the pre-mountain part of the Sierra Nevada and the southern coastal region, while the higher areas of the Sierra Nevada and the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges are covered with conifers; Californian deserts have sparse and drought-resistant vegetation. The fauna includes large mammals: deer, bears and pumas in the north-east and in the Sierra Nevada; in the areas of chaparral deer, hares, coyotes, rattlesnakes, turtles and many rodents. The desert fauna is surprisingly rich in wild goats, coyotes, hares, snakes and numerous species of lizards; the large and rare California condor is found in the mountains of the Transverse Range. Finally, salmon, perch and trout abound in rivers and lakes; the marine coasts are rich in crustaceans.

Climate – California’s climate is varied due to its size and topography. South of San Francisco in the coastal strip, the climate is mild, with average annual temperatures between 13 ° C and 17 ° C and 262 mm of rain fall, concentrated in autumn and winter. The rest of the area suffers from very different climatic conditions. In the central valley, the rains are abundant in autumn and temperatures are lower than in the coastal strip. In the north, near the state of Oregon, rainfall is abundant, and in some places over 2,500 mm. In the Sierra Nevada there is snowfall above 600 m during the winter months. On the other hand, in the southern desert area there is practically no precipitation throughout the year.

California: places to visit

This west coast state has a lot to offer: majestic mountains, ancient redwood forests, beautiful lakes, mesmerizing deserts, and one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the United States, Highway 1. And add to that cities like Los Angeles., San Francisco where there is no shortage of nightlife.

Millions of tourists from all over the world who cannot escape the charm of this land on the Pacific coast. Highway 1, overlooking the endless expanses of the ocean, can be considered one of the most beautiful roads in the world. Even the hinterland, however, offers a grandiose nature, whether it is that of Yosemite National Park, or that of Mono Lake, or that of the sequoias that you can observe in Sequoia park. And then there are desert landscapes such as the Mojave Desert, where at first glance there seems to be no form of life and in which instead, after the rare and short rains, a plant world appears as if by magic. Death Valley, is bordered by mountains that exceed 3000 m and is an extreme place: here is the lowest point in the western hemisphere, with the highest temperatures ever recorded. Twenty-one Catholic missions were spread out along the coast; founded to evangelize the Indians at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Jesuits, when they left, they were taken by the Franciscans, who have preserved an important community in Santa Barbara. Two of the missions are particularly beautiful: that of San Carlo Borromeo in Carmel, a seaside town, and that of San Luis Rey in Escondido, north of San Diego.

But California is also and always nature. Beyond the Napa Valley, which, after Sutter’s first attempts to obtain grapes for pinot and cabernet, the most renowned vineyard on the continent, there are millenary forests, superb canyons, moraines, waterfalls, monoliths, lakes in the Sierra Nevada. of mountains and above all a chain of volcanoes, which the state protects within the borders of its national parks of Sequoia, Kings Canvon, Yosemite and Lassen Volcanic.

The little known coastal region of North and Oregon is ideal for swimming, boating, fishing and surfing, the mountains are filled with hikers, skiers and hunters. California also has a good number of beach resorts.

Cultural tourist attractions– California has hundreds of museums, and art galleries. Among these we can highlight: In San Francisco, the Asian Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art (Museum of Modern Art), the California Academy of Sciences, and the Palace of the California Legion of Honor (California Palace of the Legion of Honor). In Los Angeles, the California Museum of Science and Industry, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Los Angeles County Museum of Art Museum of Art), Museum of Contemporary Art (Museum of Contemporary Art), the Planetary Observatory and Southwest Museum (Southwest Museum).

Art Gallery; In San Diego, the Fine Arts Gallery, the Natural History Museum, and Balboa Park, and within walking distance of the city, the Palomar Observatory, in Malibu, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. At Stanford the Hoover Library of War. In Pasadena, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Hearst-San Simeon State Historical Monument.

In California, highly successful writers were born, such as Jack London, Frank Norris, Upton Sinclair, William Saroyan and Robinson Jeffers, and painters such as David Park, Elmer Bischoff, and Richard Diebenkorn.

Amusement Parks and Curiosities – Theme Parks, such as Disneyland in Anaheim, Sea World in San Diego, and Hollywood Studios, the world center of cinema, attract millions of tourists each year.

In California, due to its huge population, there are various teams that participate in the major professional leagues in American football, basketball, baseball and hockey. In baseball, the main teams are: the San Francisco Giants, California Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, and the Oakland Athletics. In American football, the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, and Los Angeles Raiders. In basketball, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, and in hockey, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and San Jose Sharks.

Sacramento: capital of California

According to, Sacramento is a city in the United States and capital of the state of California, with 450,000 inhabitants, on the banks of the Sacramento River. Important fruit shopping center. In 1839, Swiss-born pioneer John A. Sutter obtained a land concession from the Mexican government, and founded a colony known as New Helvetia on the site of present-day Sacramento. Fort Sutter was completed in 1844 and the colony became an important trading center. With the discovery of gold nearby, by Mill Sutter (now Coloma), in 1848, came the gold rush that led to the founding of Sacramento, which took its name from the river of the same name. It was chosen as the permanent seat of state government in 1854, and in 1869 it became the western terminus of the first US transcontinental railroad. The city grew in importance as a port in 1963 when the San Francisco Bay Canal was finished. The ancient landscape of the city, mainly composed of square blocks between rows of trees, has been transformed by the construction of brilliant office towers and hotel complexes which, in a certain sense, evoke the decisive and enterprising spirit of the times of the fever of the gold. The city grew in importance as a port in 1963 when the San Francisco Bay Canal was finished. The ancient landscape of the city, mainly composed of square blocks between rows of trees, has been transformed by the construction of brilliant office towers and hotel complexes which, in a certain sense, evoke the decisive and enterprising spirit of the times of the fever of the gold. The city grew in importance as a port in 1963 when the San Francisco Bay Canal was finished. The ancient landscape of the city, mainly composed of square blocks between rows of trees, has been transformed by the construction of brilliant office towers and hotel complexes which, in a certain sense, evoke the decisive and enterprising spirit of the times of the fever of the gold.

According to, Sacramento is home to California State University (1947). Some points of interest in the city are the State Capitol (1860-1874), the Crocker Art museum and the Native American Museum. It has a symphony orchestra and various theaters.

Sacramento, is a port for large ships, located at the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers. Sacramento is a commercial, manufacturing center. Its most important products are food, furniture, printing equipment, fertilizers, and electrical and aerospace equipment. Government activity, financial institutions and tourism are of vital importance to the city’s economy.

California State Overview