The alps act as a protective barrier to all of Italy. It shields the people from the outside Europeans, which helped all of the civilizations thrive, having to only fight the other civilizations in Italy. The governments of these civilizations needed to be strong without the goods from outside countries, and they used the other means of travel that they could, so that their civilization could thrive. The bad things about the Alps is that the people of Rome and India cannot easily get to the outside world, and if they need or want to trade with any of the other countries, they would be unable to do so.
The Apennines are the mountains that run down the south side of Italy. Even though most mountains, like the ones in Greece, separate whole communities. The Apennines were different. These easy to cross mountains did not separate Rome, or any other cities in Italy. This gave them the advantages of being able to know what the other civilizations were doing, unlike Greece, who ended up being conquered by the people who lived and settled very close nearby. The good things about the Apennines out weigh the bad, but some of the good things come with bad counterparts. The fact that all of the other civilizations can see what you are doing can lead to there not being any surprise if you want to attack, and so there is no way that you can easily conquer your "neighbors," unlike Athens, Greece, which was conquered after a war with Sparta, who surprisingly attacked them, or when Persia attacked Sparta afterwards.
Rivers and Other Bodies of Water
The Tiber River
Rome was built very close to the Tiber River. The people of Rome needed water to help their civilization thrive. This gave Rome the advantage of trade, which the government used to receive goods, ideas, and cultures from the other Mediterranean civilizations, and over time, the rest of the world. The government was greatly impacted by this river, because it provided the one essential thing that every civilization needs, water. It also came with the added bonus of trade, which the government used to advance the civilization further, as well as "get to know" the cultures of the people around them, and some of their customs.
The Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is 15 miles away from the Tiber river, where Rome was first settled. This gave Rome the advantage of having a sea to protect them from others, and they could have a food source in the area. The sea could cause flooding, but the civilization was far enough away, and therefore, was protected. The government is impacted by this because the food helps to keep their people alive, and the protection helps their empire from being destroyed, or taken over, for the time being. Taking over Rome was not impossible, as people began to build stronger boats, the south side of Rome became vulnerable, and this could have led to its demise.
Rome was built on seven different hills. These hills greatly affected the civilization because of how steep they were. The Romans needed a good defense when they were building their civilization, and theses hills gave them just what they needed, a sharp eye could see an enemy coming, and therefore, could start preparing for war. Aside from the added advantage of seeing an enemy, the government wisely chose the steep hills to build their civilization because people could climb the hills, and have the strength to fight the city inside. These hills also came with bad things. The people might not be able to reach the city that they came from, and get killed, or captured by another area.