Interesting Facts About Italy

Interesting Facts About Italy That'll Make Your Brain Spin

Who isn't fascinated by the land of beauty, poetry and art? Here, I bring you some interesting facts about Italy that is sure to amaze you as the culture, food and architecture of the land steals your heart.....
Vacayholics Staff
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
I love the language, that soft bastard Latin,
Which melts like kisses from a female mouth,
And sounds as if it should be writ on satin
With syllables that breathe of the sweet South.
~ George Gordon Noel Byron

Ahhh.......if so much could be said of the language of a land, and with such eloquence, surely that land is worthy of taking one's breath away! Without much ado, I present to you some fascinating facts about Italy that will definitely amaze and amuse you even before you visit this charming country and get enamored with her, succumbing to her mesmerizing spell! Here's Italy facts for you!

What are Some Amazing Facts About Italy?

Let us start in a lighter mode and check out some cool and fascinating facts about Italy for kids, before moving on to the more intriguing historical, cultural and gourmet facts related to Italy. These Italy facts would do well to encourage children to read more on the ancient cultural heritage of this astounding land! Here come 10 amazing and amusing facts about Italy that kids and adults, alike, would be amazed to know!
  1. The name, Italy, means calf land and this allusion has an interesting history. The Southern Italian tribes used the Bull as their symbol and that is where the Italy derived its name from!
  2. It is said of Italy that it has more masterpieces per square mile than any other country in the entire world! Well, amazing, as an adjective, falls short of doing justice to this one!
  3. Remember Pinocchio - the animated wooden puppet whose nose would grow longer every time he told a lie? Well, the author of this children's fiction, Carlo Collodi, was Italian!
  4. Italy contains two independent states within its boundaries - the Vatican City and the Republic of San Marino.
  5. Among all European countries, Italy has the maximum number of volcanoes since the Italian peninsula is situated on a fault line.
  6. There is a visible pattern in the names of Italians that often betrays which part of Italy they come from - North or South. Northern Italian names mostly end with an i whereas Southern Italian names end with the characteristic o.
  7. Italian travel and tour industry is a major contributor to the Italian economy as more than 63% of Italy's national income is generated by this industry.
  8. The passeggiata, a pre-dinner evening stroll, is a prominent leisure activity of Italians and the Italians stroll about the streets in the evening to see and be seen!
  9. About 85% of the Italian population consists of Roman Catholics, with the minority of Jewish, Protestant and Muslim communities making up the remaining 25%.
  10. Italy is known to have introduced the rest of the world to the delicacies of ice cream and fruit pie and the pleasures of drinking Italian coffee.
Interesting Facts About Italian History and Culture

The history of Italy is rich with social, cultural and religious movements such as the Renaissance, Baroque, etc. Let us take a peek at some interesting historical and cultural facts and prominent figures of Italy.
  • Human presence in the Italian peninsula dates back to the Paleolithic Age about 2000 years ago, as evidenced by excavations of that region.
  • Greek colonies had established themselves along the Sicilian coast and Southern Italy in the 7th and 8th centuries, BC.
  • The independent city states of Italy were established between 1000-1400 AD. Napoleon Bonaparte took over Italy and declared himself its emperor in 1804 AD.
  • In 1861, under the leadership of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the kingdom of Italy was founded, with Victor Emmanuel II being crowned the king of Italy the same year.
  • In 1915, Italy takes part in the First World War and takes the side of the Allies.
  • The Fascist leader, Benito Mussolini becomes the 40th prime minister and of Italy in 1922 and assumes dictatorship in 1925.
  • The Roman-Berlin Axis gets signed by Mussolini and Adolf Hitler in 1936.
  • After Mussolini's assassination and end of World War I in 1945, monarchy is abolished from Italy and it establishes a republic state in 1946.
  • The Renaissance period which covered a good part of the 15th and 16th centuries is regarded as the golden period of Italy's cultural achievement and heritage! During this period, the world got familiar with the works of such literary, artistic and architectural maestros such as Petrarch, Boccaccio, Raphael, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, Brunelleschi, etc. Famous works of the Italian art such as the Creation of Adam (Michelangelo, fresco) and the Mona Lisa (da Vinci, oil on canvas) were created during this period.
  • The Olympics have been hosted by Italy thrice!
  • Italy ranks among world leaders in the fashion industry, boasting of such prominent designers and fashion houses as Armani, Gucci, Prada and Versace.
  • Fine sports cars such as Lamborghini and Ferrari are enviable feather's in Italy's cap!
  • Italy is one of the founding members of the European Union.
  • The islands of Sardinia are famous (or notorious?) for the witches who are believed to prepare health potions. They use a sign language for communicating which is passed on to their daughters, thereby, keeping the family traditions and secrets alive.
Interesting Facts About Italian Food

Mmmmm...talk of Italian cuisine and your mouth starts salivating as the mind conjures up delicious images of sumptuous, cheesy Italian pizzas and delicately flavored pasta! Let's look at some interesting Italian food facts!
  • A cup of cooked spaghetti contains around 200 calories, 40 grams of carbohydrates, fat content lower than one gram and zero cholesterol!
  • The Pope set the quality standard for pasta way back in the 13th century!
  • Pasta is produced in over 600 shapes all over the world!
  • Italians prefer their food fresh cooked - most would never even touch pre-cooked or microwaved stuff!
  • Most Italian meals are elaborate - you would hardly catch an Italian having sandwich for lunch. Also, Italians like to eat at leisure, taking time to slowly chew and appreciate the taste of the food they eat. Well, that's definitely a sign of good taste!
  • In Italy, wines are considered a part of the meals and even children as young as 11 and 12 can be seen having wine, slightly diluted, with their food!
  • You will find a lot of dishes having meat and seafood in Northern Italian food whereas tomato is a prominent ingredient in almost every dish in Southern Italy!
  • Cooking in olive oil is a very Italian thing and we all know the health benefits of olive oil! No wonder the Italian signors and signoras always look so fresh and full of vitality!
Fun Facts About Italy

Following are some random fun facts about Italy. Read on and keep wondering!
  • When seen from the sky, the shape of Italy appears as a boot!
  • An average Italian eats approximately 62 pounds of pasta and drinks an estimated 60 liters of wine every year!
  • The origin of pizzas can be traced back to Naples, Italy!
  • The International Puppet Museum in Sicily houses around 6000 puppets!
  • The commonly used term trivia traces its origins from the Latin term trivium, which means the intersecting point of three roads!
  • The concept of Opera originated in Italy.
  • Legend has it that the founders of Rome, brothers Romulus and Remus, were raised by a she-wolf in a cave! Interestingly, Rome's emblem also shows a she-wolf suckling the two brothers!
  • Italy has the lowest birth rate in all of Europe! Strange, considering the large size of Italian families.
  • The life expectancy of Italians is also quite long - longer than most nationalities around the world. Is it due to the olive oil they use in Italian cooking or is it because of all that Italian wine they drink or both together?
Whew! It's impossible to stop writing on engaging facts about Italy!This fascinating country with its rich cultural heritage and breathtakingly scenic beauty never fails to captivate! I am awaiting the day when I would get an opportunity to pack my bags and get away from this urban life for a couple of weeks! Where would I go? Why, I'd love to see the Leaning Tower, to begin with!
Sardinian haven
Illustrated version of the Mona Lisa
Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam
Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian General
Napoleon Bonaparte
View of cefalu with beach and castle
Italian gelato ice cream
Spanish Steps Full of People
St. Peter's Square from Rome in Vatican State
Italy Vector Map