Both Greece and Rome are Mediterranean countries, but the terrain of the two is very different. The ancient Greek city-states were separated from each other by hilly countryside and all were near the water. Rome was inland, on one side of the Tiber River
, but the Italic tribes (in the boot-shaped peninsula that is now Italy) did not have the natural hilly borders to keep them out of Rome. In Italy, around Naples, Mt. Vesuvius
produced fertile land by blanketing the soil with tephra which aged into rich soil. There were also two nearby mountain ranges to the north (Alps) and east (Apennine).