Fun Facts About Italy. Bet You Didn’t Know!
Here are 101 fun facts that you might not know about Italy, its people, and its history:
- Rome is further North than New York City. New York City is about the same latitude as Naples Italy
- In Rome and Naples, it only snows briefly once every several years while in New York snow is very frequent in the Winter
- Pizza was “invented” in Naples around 1860s
- Pizza is one of the very few words which is understood all over the world
- Italy is slightly larger than Arizona.
- Almost 20% of Italy’s population is over 65 years old.
- Italy borders Austria, France, Vatican City, San Marino, Slovenia, and Switzerland.
- Its longest border is with Switzerland.
- The average Italian family has 1.27 children.
- Everybody 18 and over can vote, however you have to be at least 25 to vote in Senate elections.
- The Italian flag is inspired by the French flag introduced during Napoleon’s 1797 invasion of the peninsula.
- The average Italian makes $26,700 a year, however those in the more prosperous north make almost $40,000.
- The thermometer is an Italian invention.
- Italy’s unemployment rate is around 8.6%, but it is as high as 20% in the more impoverished south.
- Italian farms produce grapes, potatoes, sugar beets, soybeans, grain, olives, beef, and dairy.
- The name of Electricity measurement Volt comes from Alessandro Volta who invented the first battery in 1779
- The average life expectancy at birth for an Italian is 79.54 years.
- The famous children’s story, Pinocchio , was written by an Italian.
- The city of Naples gave birth to the pizza.
Pizza margherita whit mozzarella, tomato and basil
- The piano hails from Italy.
- The longest river in Italy is the Po.
- The average Italian consumes half a pound of bread a day.
- Italy’s contributions to science include the barometer, electric battery, nitroglycerin, and wireless telegraphy.
- Famous Italian explorers include Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, John Cabot, and Amerigo Vespucci.
- Today’s modern Italian language originated in the region of Tuscany.
- Enrico Fermi, inventor of the nuclear reactor, was an Italian.
- The automobile is one of Italy’s greatest products. In addition to the Fiat brand, Fiat owns the Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Chrysler brands.
- “Volt” is named for Alessandro Volta, a pioneer in the study of electricity
- With almost 40 million visitors, Italy is the fourth most visited country in the world.
- Italy is home to two microstates, San Marino and Vatican City .
- Besides Julius Caesar, Shakespeare also set in Italy ( entirely or partially): Romeo and Juliet, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Cymbeline,Much Ado About Nothing, Othello,The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, The Two Gentlemen of Verona,The Winter’s Tale
- Cologne came out of Italy.
San Marino, the capital of San Marino Republic.
- The ice cream cone is an Italian invention.
- The majority of Italian-American immigrants came from Naples and southern Italy.
- Mt. Vesuvius last erupted in 1944, destroying a number of neighboring villages and the city of Pompeii.
- Eyeglasses are an Italian invention.
- The average Italian is 41 years old.
- Italy has 16 regions and 4 autonomous regions.
- Before adopting the euro, Italy’s currency was known as the lira.
- The average Italian consumes 26 gallons of wine a year.
- Italy’s major industries include tourism, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, food processing, textiles, motor vehicles, clothing, footwear, and ceramics.
- Italy has more hotel rooms than any other nation in Europe.
- The espresso machine hails from Italy.
- Italy is the world’s seventh largest industrial economy.
- Barely a third of Italy’s land is arable and suitable for farming.
- Italy’s biggest trading partners are Germany, France, the United States, and Great Britain.
- Over 40% of Italy’s labor force is unionized.
- The telephone was created by an Italian (Meucci )
- Most of Italy’s industry is centered around the northern cities of Milan, Turin and Genoa .
- Since the end of WWII, Italy has seen almost 60 governments come and go.
- The area around Venice is one of the wealthiest region in Europe
Venice is the wealthiest region in Europe
- Over 75% of Italy is mountainous or hilly.
- The typewriter is an Italian invention.
- Italians used to be known for having large families, however Italy is now known for having Europe’s lowest birthrate.
- Italy owes much of its prosperity to thousands of small private family enterprises.
- Most unmarried children live with their parents
- The average Italian consumes 25 kilograms of pasta a year.
- The Jewish Ghetto in Rome is now one of the most expensive real estate area in the city
- With over 5 million people, Rome is Italy’s largest Italy.
- Italy has a population of over 58 million.
- Italians refer to their country as Italia.
- Italy imports over 75% of its energy.
- The service sector accounts for almost 70% of the Italian economy.
- Agriculture used to make up over a third of Italy’s economy. It now makes up less than three percent.
- The official language is Italian, but German and French are also spoken in some regions.
- Italy’s north has warm summers and cool winters. Italy’s south has hot summers and mild winters.
- The Seven Hills of Rome are Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal, and Viminal.
- The symbol SPQR can be found on many ancient buildings in Rome. It stands for “the senate and people of Rome.”
- Rome was founded in 753 BC.
- Italy did not become a united country until 1861
- Every kid between the ages of 6-14 go to mandatory school. More than 90 percent of them attend public schools considered better for learning than private schools.
- Before Rome became a republic and an empire, it had seven kings.
- The first king of Rome was its legendary founder, Romulus.
- “Ars longa, vita brevis” is a common saying in Italy. It means “art is long, life is short” and reflects the Italian love of leisure.
- An engineering marvel of the ancient world, Cloacus Maxima, is the sewer of Rome.
- The first Roman Emperor was Augustus Octavian, who came to power in 27 BC.
- The Roman Empire fell in 476 AD, after its last emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was forced to abdicate by barbarian invaders.
- A Roman Centurion commanded 100 hundred men.
- A Roman Legion was made up of 6,000 men.
- Italy has a resident foreign population of 1.27 million.
- Italy’s current constitution took effect January 1, 1948
- The president of Italy is a ceremonial figure.
- The prime minister serves as the head of government and is the one who runs the country.
- Since October 1946, the national anthem of Italy has been Inno de Memeli .
- Family recreational activities in small villages include taking a traditional Sunday passeggiata (family stroll)
- The colors of the Italian flag represent three virtues: hope (green), faith (white), and charity (red).
- The Italian Republic does not have an official motto, but it does have a common phrase: “L’Italia e’ una Repubblica democratica, fondata sul lavoro” (Italy is a democratic Republic, founded on labor).
- St. Francis of Assissi and Saint Caterina of Siena are the patron saints of Italy.
- 95% of Italians are Roman Catholic but only about 30 percent of all Italians attend church regularly
- The Roman Catholic Church is based in Italy.
- Italy has over 3,000 museums.
- The national sport of Italy is soccer (known as football outside of America).
- Italy’s national dish is pasta.
- The Italian language evolved from the Latin of the Roman Empire.
- The Italian peninsula is surrounded by five seas (the Adriatic, Ionian, Tyrrhenean, Ligurian, and Mediterranean).
- Italy has two large islands, Sicily and Sardinia , as well as a number of smaller islands.
- The Italian island of Sicily is famous for being home of the illicit Mafia criminal organization.
- Napoleon spent his first exile on the Italian island of Elba.
- The Alps mountain range form part of Italy’s northern border, and for a long time, protected the peninsula from invasion.
- Italy has three active volcanoes: Vesuvius, Etna, and Stromboli.
- Naples is the largest city in southern Italy.
- Next to Rome, Milan is the second-largest city in Italy.
- Milan is home to Italian fashion and finance.
- Rome’s nickname is “The Eternal City.”
- Florence is home to Italian art.
- A vespa is an Italian-made motor scooter that many people ride around busy city streets on.
- Around 1284 in Italy, Salvino D’Armate was credited with inventing the first wearable eye glasses
- Italy has the highest number of cultural sites recognized by UNESCO world Heritage
- Italian has many dialects
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