Virginia State Overview

State of Virginia general data

  • Time zone: 6 hours less than Italy
  • Capital: Richmond
  • Main towns: Arlington, Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach.
  • Area: 110.784 km²
  • Population: 8,500,000 inhabitants approximately.
  • Population density: 76,7 residents / km²
  • State abbreviation: VA
  • Entry into the United States: It joins the United States on June 25, 1788, it is the 10th state to join the union.

According to, the state of Virginia can be physically divided into three major regions: the coastal plain, the Piedmont plateau, and the region of valleys and mountains. The state has an average elevation of 290m, with the highest point, Mount Rogers, 1747m. above sea level. The coastal plain is a flat area that includes the bay region and part of the Delmarva peninsula that is extension from the far south of the state of Maryland. This plain rises gently until it reaches 90 m above sea level in some parts of the interior, it is made up of sedimentary soils, clay, and other material. The highest percentage of clay is found in the innermost regions. Swampy peninsulas have formed between the Potomac, Rappahannock and York Rivers that flow into the Chesapeake Bay. The southeastern portion of the state’s coastal plain is a swampy land extending into the state of North Carolina. The Piedmont plateau region is a plateau that rises up to 300 m, where the Blue Ridge begins. The characteristic landscape of this region is of gentle hills crossed by rivers and streams, with clayey and limestone soils and sedimented and igneous rocks. The region of valleys and mountains can in turn be divided into three zones: the Blue Cordillera, the Appalachian Plateau and the Valley and Ridge Region. The first of these units, the Blue Ridge, is connected with the Piedmont region, extending from north-east to south-west. The maximum altitudes of this mountain range oscillate between 1,200 m, in the northern sector, and 1,747 m in the southern zone, Rogers mountains. The Valley and Ridge Region, contains the Great Valley of Virginia, between the Blue Cordillera and the Appalachian Mountains. The Great Valley actually consists of different valleys separated by plateaus and mountain ranges. Of these valleys, Shenandoah is the largest and richest from an agricultural point of view. Finally, the Appalachian Plateau is located in the southwestern part of the state, as an extension of Virginia to the state of Kentucky. This sub-area includes part of the Cumberland Mountains, a wilderness crossed by rivers and rich in coal deposits. Alongside the rivers already mentioned, (Potomac, Rappahannock and York), the most important in the state are the James, Roanoke, Shenandoah rivers and the rivers that are part of the Mississippi basin, (which flow in the southwestern part of the state).

Flora and fauna – Mostly pine trees grow on the Tidewater plain; in the swampy areas cypresses, while on the western mountains, in addition to trees with harder wood, laurels, rhododendrons and azalea bushes grow. A few brown bears still live in the mountainous areas of Virginia, as does the deer. Smaller wild animals include fox, hare, beaver, squirrel and opossum. There are many bird varieties.

The climate of Virginia can be defined subtropical, mild and humid, with differences caused by the altitude and near the Chesapeake Bay or the Atlantic Ocean. In January, the average temperatures vary, depending on the area, between 2 ° C and 5 ° C in January, and between 23 ° C and 26 ° C in July. The extreme temperatures that have been recorded in Virginia are -34 ° C and 43 ° C. As for rainfall, the average is 1,000 mm, which varies according to the area, and oscillates between 760 mm, in the north-west, and 1,400 mm, in the south-west coast. Snowfall is abundant only in the southwestern region, in the Cumberland Mountains. Virginia is rarely hit by hurricanes and tornadoes.

Virginia: places of tourist interest

The Virginia; with its magnificent landscapes (with all the outdoor sports that are available) and its historical memories make it the favored state of tourists.

The “Old Dominion” along the coastal strip there are magnificent beaches especially in the Chesapeake Bay where the beautiful ranges of the Appalachian mountains slope down to the sea with wonderful valleys like that of Piedmont, a thriving kingdom of tobacco and cotton plantations.

According to, Virginia is extremely proud of its glorious past and historical memories. About 16 miles south of Arlington Cemetery (which houses the tombs of John F. Kennedy and that of the Unknown Soldier, among others) is Mount Vernon, the residence of George Washington, the beautiful pillared house of the first President, which he had designed the project, it is the most revered in the United States. Monticello, located on a hill in Charlottesville, near Richmond, is an 18th century domed construction, where all the objects invented by Thomas Jefferson are kept.

Many of the vast plantations that multiplied with the development of tobacco cultivation, under the impulse of John Rolfe (he had married Princess Pocahontas), belonged to illustrious men. Following the winding tree-lined road along the James River between Williamsburg and Richmond, the visitor discovers the most admired of these residences (here is Carter’s Grove, regarded as the most beautiful in the United States).

In the Northern Neck, between the Potomac and the Rappahannoc, there are other famous properties, now open to visitors. The area richest in memories remains the “Virginia Historic Triangle,” whose summits are made up of the cities of Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. In these three cities, whose origins date back to the 17th century, efforts to protect historic sites, indeed rebuild them, have managed to recreate the atmosphere of Washington times.

According to, the beautiful scenery of the Blue Mountains (Blue Ridge) to the west of the state, hide true treasures of natural beauty, revealed by two famous scenic drives, the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway, which cross Shenandoah National Park. The most famous of these wonders is probably the Natural Bridge which the Indians called God’s Bridge and which Jefferson also regarded as “the most sublime work of nature”, which crosses Cedar Creek at a height of 65 meters.

Near Mount Solon, in a regional park where every walk is enchanting, seven limestone columns rise, as high as twelve-storey buildings, similar to immense chimneys (Natural Chimneys); others see in them the towers of a feudal castle leaning against the hill.

Other surprising natural phenomena are scattered in the region of mountains and lakes that form the southwestern tip of the state. Numerous gorges form enchanting scenery and Break Interstate Park, straddling Kentucky and Virginia, is home to the largest canyon located east of the Mississippi. The first place, however, perhaps belongs to the impressive Natural Tunnel, about thirty meters high, which describes an arc of 270 meters in the rock and overlooks a chasm 120 meters deep.

Cultural Tourist Places – Virginia’s cultural institutions worth mentioning are: the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Confederation Museum, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, the Chrysler Museum, the Museum of Geological Sciences and the Museum of Marines. Other centers of historical and cultural interest are the numerous parks that commemorate and preserve battlefields during the American Revolution and the Civil War, such as Yorktown, Manassas, Fredericksburg and Richmond. You can also visit the Appomattox courthouse, where Generals Lee and Grant signed the surrender of the Confederacy troops in April 1865. Mont Vernon, the plantation of the first president of the United States, George Washington; Gunston Hall, the home of legislator George Masón; Monticello, the house where Thomas Jefferson lived; Arlington National Cemetery, where the Kennedy family and the Unknown Soldier rest, among others, and the colonial city of Williamburg, which recreates the daily environment of the early colonial years.

Virginia State Overview