Northern Italy is a wide cultural, historical and geographical definition, without any administrative usage, used to indicate the northern part of the Italian state, also referred as Il Nord, Settentrione or Alta Italia. It coincides with two areas belonging to Italian first level NUTS of the European Union:
- North-East (Nord-Est) that includes the regions of: Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Veneto
By far, the larger portion of Northern Italy is occupied by the basin of the Po river, which comprises the whole of the broad plain extending from the foot of the Apennines to that of the Alps, together with the valleys and slopes on both sides of it. Throughout its whole course indeed, from its source in Monte Viso to its outflow into the Adriatic Sea—a distance of more than 5 degrees of longitude, or 220 miles in a direct line—the Po receives all the waters that flow from the Apennines northwards, and all those that descend from the Alps towards the south, till one comes to the Adige, which, after pursuing a parallel course with the Po for a considerable distance, enters the Adriatic by a separate mouth.
The area has one of the highest GDP per capita in Europe. Northern Italy is the most developed and productive area of the country, and the first part of Italy to be industrialized in the last half of the 19th century, the so-called industrial triangle formed by the manufacturing centres of Milan and Turin and the seaport of Genoa. Nowadays, the industrial core of the area shifted eastward, with just Lombardy remaining from the original industrial triangle, together with Veneto and Emilia-Romagna; the same shift happened for GDP per capita, with the eastern regions being today wealthier, always together with Lombardy, than Piedmont and Liguria. With a 2008 nominal GDP estimated in €860.6 billion, Northern Italy accounts for about 60% of the Italian economy, despite having less than 50% of the population.
Pollution in Northern Italy 
In 2005, the BBC and Meteorologists across Europe revealed that Northern Italy was one of Europe's most polluted areas due to smog, and air pollution, due to its climatic and geographic conditions, which favour the stagnation of the pollutants. Today, the air quality in Northern Italy still continues to be a major factor that the area has to face.
Farming in North Italy has some advantages, including the following:
- It is easy to borrow money.
- Local colleges can show modern farming methods.
- Close to urban markets
- Farmers have their own land as in the south.
See also 
- Southern Italy
- Italian NUTS level 1 regions