Known as the food paradise and a travelers dream, Italy is not only a romantic destination, but has grown to become one of the most economically successful countries and a great family destination for a holiday! Italy is a place with which everyone falls in love. One visit to the country and you will feel like going there again and again and again! Located on the Italian Peninsula, in Southern Europe, the country is steeped in history. Standing as the testimony to the fact are the country’s roman ruins, renaissance palaces and more than 3000 museums, apart from churches and archeological sites dating back to Roman and Greek times. Italy is home to hundreds of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and its natural beauty is beyond the scope of mere words. Right from art, museums and architecture to restaurants and beautiful countryside, Italy has it all. Read on further to know some fun and interesting facts about the place.
Image: By Vincenzo Gianferrari Pini (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5-it (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/it/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons
Area: 301,338 km2
Population: 60,813,326 (2011)
Official Languages: Italian
Calling Code: 39
Type Of Government: Unitary, parliamentary, constitutional, republic
Interesting Facts About Italy
- The official name of Italy is Italian Republic.
- Italy is located on the Italian Peninsula, in Southern Europe, and on the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily and Sardinia.
- Rome is the capital of Italy and the country has Republic government.
- Archimedes, one of the most famous mathematicians in the world, was born in Sicily.
- Tomato sauce was never added to Italian pasta until the 18th century.
- Did you know that the Arabs introduced dry pasta to the Italians? Before that, all the pasta was freshly made on an everyday basis.
- The language used in music comes from Italian. ‘Scala’ means scale and a few other musical notations such as ‘presto’ and ‘vivace’ are unique to this country.
- Italy is among the world leaders of haute couture.
- The most common Italian surname is ‘Russo’.
- Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's most popular play, was set in the backdrop of Verona, Italy.
- Amongst the famous personalities that have been born in Italy are Niccolo Machiavelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Antonio Stradivari, Donatello, Fra Angelico, Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Bernini, etc.
- Pompeii city of Italy was completely buried after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
- Over 50 million tourists visit Italy annually. Tourism plays a very important role in terms of national income for this beautiful country.
- Bubonic Plague killed one-third of the Italian population in the 14th century.
- Italy was the cradle of first, Etruscan and then, Roman civilizations. It also served as the center of the first and largest empire in Europe, North Africa and the near East.
- Approximately 85% of the population of Italy is Roman Catholics.
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of the most visited structures around the world, was built in 1173.
- Sicily was once the largest ancient Greek city in the world.
- Basilica of Saint Peter, situated in Rome, is the largest Christian edifice in the world.
- The University of Rome is one of the oldest universities in the world.
- The volcanoes of Etna, Stromboli and Vesuvius, situated in South of Italy, are the only three active volcanoes in Europe.
- Italy became a unified country only in the year 1863.
- Presently, Italy boasts of the lowest birthrate and fertility rate in the world.
- As per UNICEF (2007 report on child well-being in rich countries), Italy is the best country for family and peer relationships.
- The average consumption of pasta in Italy is 25 kg per person per year.
- The oldest university in Europe, in continuous operation, is the University of Bologna, founded in 1088.
- Viol, violin, cello, piano, mechanical clock, barometer, thermometer, optical glasses and telephone were invented by Italians.
- The oldest film festival in the world is the Venice Film Festival. It was started in 1932.
- Italy has the lowest per capita energy consumption in Europe.
- Parmesan, gorgonzola, provolone and ricotta cheese, all originate from Italy.