Fun Facts About Italy. Bet You Didn't Know!
Here are some interesting 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.
- The Pizza Margherita was invented in Naples in 1889 to honour Italy's Queen Margherita of Savoy that was visiting the city.
- Pizza is one of the very few words which is understood all over the world.
- Italy is slightly larger than Arizona.
- More than 20% of Italy's population is over 65 years old - it's the highest percentage in Europe.
- Italy borders with Austria, France, Vatican City, San Marino, Slovenia, and Switzerland.
- Its longest border is with Switzerland.
- The Italian woman has in average 1.27 children. Women in Italy have 1.34 children, if included foreign women.
- Everybody 18 and over can vote, however you have to be at least 25 to vote for the Senate's elections.
- The Italian flag is inspired by the French, which was 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 11.7%, but it is as high as 28.3% in the more impoverished south. The youth unemployment rate is even worse: 40.1% for those between 15 and 24 years old (data 2016).
- Italian farms produce grapes, potatoes, sugar beets, soybeans, wheat and olives. They rear cows and produce meat 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 80.6 years for men, 85 for women.
- The famous children's story, Pinocchio, was written by an Italian.
- The city of Naples gave birth to pizza.
- 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, the electric battery, nitroglycerin, and wireless telegraphy.
- Famous Italian explorers include Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, John Cabot, and Amerigo Vespucci.
- Today's modern Italian 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.
- Even though the number of foreign tourists increased by 3% in the Summer 2017, Italy's dropped from 4th to the 5th position in the ranking of the most visited countries in the world.
- The Italian peninsula 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, A Winter's Tale.
- The Eau de Cologne was invented by an Italian that emigrated to Koln (Cologna), in Germany.
- 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 villages.
- Eyeglasses are an Italian invention.
- The average Italian is 41 years old.
- Italy has 20 regions, 5 of which have a special status of Autonomous Region, that gives them more independence from central government.
- 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 8th largest industrial economy (far away from the 4th position in 1991).
- 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.
- 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 about 2.8 million people, Rome is Italy's largest Italy. Milan is the second with 1.3 million people.
- Italy has a population of over 60 million, foreigners are 8.2% of the population.
- 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 and modern buildings in Rome. It stands for "the senate and people of Rome" (Senatus PopulusQue Romanus)
- Rome was founded in 753 BC.
- Italy did not become a united country until 1861.
- Every kid between the ages of 6-15 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, the Cloaca Maxima, is still part of the sewer of Rome.
- The first Roman Emperor was Octavian Augustus, 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 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 1st, 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 the Inno di Mameli.
- Family recreational activities in small villages include taking a traditional Sunday passeggiata (family stroll).
- The colors of the Italian flag derive from the French one, from which it was inspired; the color blue was replaced with the green from the Milan's Civic Guard.
- The Italian Republic does not have an official motto, but it usually considers the first line of the Italian Constitution as such: "L'Italia e' una Repubblica democratica, fondata sul lavoro" (Italy is a democratic Republic, founded on labor).
- St. Francis of Assisi and St. 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 form Italy's northern border and, for a long time, protected the peninsula from invasions.
- Italy has three active volcanoes: Vesuvius, Etna, and Stromboli.
- Naples is the largest city in southern Italy.
- After 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 considered by many the home of Italian art.
- A Vespa is an Italian-made motor scooter that many people ride around busy city streets.
- 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
Edited by Francesca Bezzone
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