50 Facts and more about Italy !

Here are some interesting facts about Italy.

  1. It’s proper name Repubblica Italiana (Italian Republic), Nickname: “Bel Paese” which means beautiful country.
  2.  Rome its capital city was founded in 753BC.
  3.  The currency is the Euro. Prior to 2001 it was the Italian Lira
  4.  Religion is predominantly Christian (Roman Catholics 90%)
  5.  More than 98% of Italian’s can read and write.
  6.  Italians eat spaghetti only with a fork
  7.  The official language is Italian as well as German and in some regions in Northern Italy.
  8.  Mozzarella: Italian cheese balls, originally made from buffalo milk
  9.  Lasagna: layered pasta dish with tomato, mozzarella cheese and mince meat filling.
  10.  Gelato: ice-cream is an Italian invention
  11.  Pesto is a thick green sauce with olives, herbs and olive oil, pine kernels and parmiggiano cheese.
  12.  Calzone: is simply a folded up pizza
  13.  Panforte (a hard and flat fruit cake) and almond pastries like amaretti.
  14.  There are delicious sweet cakes in Italy, like the Panettone (a yeast cake with raisins)
  15.  Italian pasta is renowned worldwide and there are more than 200 different shapes.
  16.  Pizza: was invented in Napoli around 1860
  17.  Pizza is surely one of the most famous exports and in Italy it is usually baked in a wood-fired oven and very thin, but loaded with fresh vegetables or thinly sliced ham, salami, artichokes or olives.
  18.  The Italian Government is a Democratic Republic
  19.  The Italian main dishes contain: pork and beef, seafood and potatoes, rice and pasta (wheat and egg noodles) products.
  20.  Alessandro Volta, was the pioneer who studied in electricity, hence the name “Volt” describing a unit of electricity.
  21.  Leonardo da Vinci was a scientist and artist who was the first to prove the world is round and not flat.
  22.  The Italian explorers Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci discovered the Americas while Marco Polo explored the East.
  23.  The Italian soccer league is followed by many Italians abroad too: Inter, Milan, Roma, Napoli and Juventus are just some of the Italian soccer teams which are favored by Italians.
  24.  Italians love sports. Cycling, Skiing, Soccer and Motor Racing are just some of the sports Italians have very strong interest in and good teams of sportsmen and women.
  25.  Most young people learn to speak English, French or German at school in Italy.
  26.  The pronunciation is soft and very melodic and so is still used in opera and is popular by young musicians. Even German composers used the language in opera as it sounds much softer than German.
  27.  Not all people in Italy speak proper Italian, but one of its many Italian dialects. Some of the older people can neither speak Italian, but only the local dialect or will speak only German when living in the Northern Region of Alto Adige, or French dialect in the Valle d’Aosta
  28.  Italian is a romance language and derives from Latin.
  29.  In the Alps you will very likely see the marmots, which make a very high pitched calling sound.
  30.  Brown bears are a protected species in Italy, as there are only a few bears left in the wild now.
  31.  Sheep are held mainly in Southern Italy and the donkeys still help farmers in remote villages to carry heavy loads over steep terrain.
  32.  Venice is a Lagoon City build on islands and known for its Carnival
  33.  Vatican City is led by the Pope and is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, led by the Pope.
  34.  Italy surrounds two of the world’s smallest countries-San Marino in Northern Italy, the oldest republic in the world and Vatican City in Rome, the smallest country in the world.
  35.  Italy is subdivided in 20 regions, like Tuscany (around Florence), Veneto (around Venice) and Lazio (around Rome).
  36.  In the South of Italy you will find Italy’s three active volcanoes: Vesuvius near Naples, Etna on Sicily and Stromboli off the Coast of Italy.
  37.  The Apennines are another big mountain range which go all along the boot and separate the East and the West of the country.
  38.  The Po is Italy’s longest river.
  39.  Roma (Rome), the capital is often called ” The Eternal City”, with 3.57 million inhabitants. It is Italy’s biggest city.
  40.  The highest mountain of Italy can be found in the Alps. It is the Monte Bianco, better known as Mont Blanc, which is 4,807m.
  41.  In the North of Italy, the mountain range of the Alps separates Italy from the other European countries France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia.
  42.  Italy is easy to recognise on any world map, as the country is shaped like a high-heeled boot.
  43.  Italy lies in Southern Europe, a flight to Rome take roughly 2.5 hours from London/England, 8 hours from New York/USA
  44.  The colours of the Italian Flag represent three virtues: hope (green), faith (white), and charity (red).
  45.  Italy is founding member of the European Union (EU) and the NATO.
  46.  During the Second World War, Italy sided with Nazi Germany
  47.  Italy was a kingdom until 1946.
  48.  Italy was unified as a nation by Garibaldi in 1861 and since then includes the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
  49.  The Roman Empire imploded in 395AD
  50.  As of 2011 61 million people were living in Italy

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