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Fun Facts About Italy That Will Amaze You!

Italy is a country that is known for being a place full of art, life, and romance. It has become an incredibly popular tourist destination because of the many interesting things to do in the country. You can spend a lot of time in there and still feel as though there is more to see and get to know Italy facts. If you have an interest in Italy due to your heritage or simple curiosity, then you might be interested to learn about some fun facts about Italy.

Fun Facts You Should Know About Geography Of Italy

World’s Most Active Volcanoes Are Located In Italy

Fun facts for Italy: the famous volcanoes
Fun facts for Italy: the famous volcanoes

One of the most interesting facts about Italy is that 2 of the world’s most active volcanoes are located in this country!

They are called Etna and Vesuvius.

You might be familiar with Vesuvius’s reputation as it is responsible for one of the most famous volcanic eruptions in history. The eruption of the year 79 CE caused a significant amount of destruction and the story of Vesuvius endures today for that very reason.

These volcanoes are all monitored very closely by the Italian government and scientific groups. The goal of both the government and these scientists is to ensure the safety of the citizens in the event of an eruption. No catastrophic eruptions have occurred for a long time but they remain vigilant so that they might have some advance notice of changes within the volcanoes.

Using tools such as seismographs and other complicated methods, they are able to glean as much information as possible for these purposes.

In total, there are about 60 active volcanoes in Europe, mostly located in Italy and Iceland

There Are 3 Independent Countries Within The Area Of Italy

You may not be aware, that when you travel to Italy, you may actually visit 3 countries in one go. The first if of course Italy, the other two are: Vatican City and San Marino.

Both countries are entirely enclaved by Italy, however, they are independent.

Italy Is Full of Hills and Mountains

Fun facts for Italy: the mountains
Fun facts for Italy: the mountains

One thing that you should know about the terrain of Italy is that it is chock-full of hills and mountains. One-fifth of the entire country is either hilly or mountainous. This can make for some interesting hiking adventures for people who are so inclined. The nature of Italy is undeniably beautiful but there is a lot of terrains that can be difficult to navigate if you aren’t properly prepared.

What’s interesting, you don’t need to go fur in the mountains to find a good hiking route. Only a few people know that you can take a good hike while visiting Tuscany. Just take a taxi to Florence to start a Renaissance Ring Trail that circles this city.

Italy Has More Earthquakes Than the Rest of Europe

Italy is known to have more earthquakes than the other countries in Europe and sometimes these natural disasters can prove deadly. The most recent earthquake that had deadly results was back in 1980.

This earthquake occurred in Naples and took the life of an estimated 3,000 people. Although earthquakes do not occur with incredible regularity, the people of Italy remain mindful of the fact that they are a possibility that they will have to deal with.

Italian Food Facts

Pasta Has Been in Use Since the 4th Century BCE

Fun facts on Italy: the pastas
Fun facts on Italy: the pastas

Everyone knows that pasta is a large part of Italian culture. The pasta history is also one of the food facts in Italy that is worth knowing. Many of the finest pasta dishes have been created and perfected in Italy.

What you may not know is that the use of pasta in Italy dates back to ancient history. Historians have been able to place people using pasta dishes in Italy as far back as the 4th century BCE.

The prevalence of pasta dishes in the country is something that has endured for a long time. The cuisine of Italy is one of the most recognizable aspects of the country so it seems appropriate that pasta has been in use for so long.

Pizza Was Invented in Naples

Fun facts for Italy: the pizza
Fun facts for Italy: the pizza

The first-ever pizza pie was made in Naples at some point back in 1860.

It might be hard for you to imagine a time without pizza as it has become a staple treat in many people’s diets across the globe. Pizza has gone through many changes and iterations throughout time but the first simple pizzas were created in the Campania region.

The people of Naples have gone on to create many different pizza variations throughout the years and great pizza can still be found there today. That’s one of the many reasons why it is worth going to Naples. Honestly, who doesn’t love pizza?

Italians Have Created Many Types of Cheese

Fun facts on Italy: the cheeses
Fun facts on Italy: the cheeses

The fun facts about Italy are bound to be filled with a fair number of Italy food facts. Italians are credited with creating many different types of cheeses.

One of the most commonly enjoyed cheeses that were created in Italy is Parmesan, which was created around the city of Parma. Other cheeses created in Italy include:

  • mozzarella
  • buratta
  • gorgonzola
  • ricotta
  • provolone

Facts About Italian Culture And People

Italy Has The Longest Life Expectancy In Europe

Italy is one of the top 5 countries in the world where people live the longest.

The life expectancy in Italy is about 84 years old. Just to compare, it’s 78 years old for the US, 75 for Vietnam, and 81 for Germany.

Italy Is Overwhelmingly Roman Catholic

Fun Italy facts: the religion
Fun Italy facts: the religion

Around 85% of all Italians identify as belonging to the Roman Catholic church. This means that the country is very much skewed towards Catholicism.

There are people who practice other religions in the country but they are a minority.

Italy Has a Low Birth Rate

As it currently stands, Italy has one of the lowest birth rates in the entire western world. People are waiting longer to have children than they used to in the past and many couples who do have children are having fewer.

The decline in birth rates has raised some eyebrows among the government and even the Roman Catholic church itself. Currently, there are some incentives for people who choose to have more than one child to try to get the birth rate numbers back towards stability.

Family Is Extremely Important in Italian Culture

The concept of family is extremely important to Italians and it isn’t uncommon for people to live at home until they are in their 30s.

You will also commonly see older members of the family being taken care of by their sons or daughters. Respect for the institution of the family is one of the core Italian values that has remained a part of the Italian identity for many years.

Surely, the people of Italy will continue to honor these traditions and their families going into the future.

Almost 70% Of Young Italians Live With Their Parents!

You already know that family is very important for Italians. However, you may be surprised, that67% of Italians aged from 18 to 34 still live with their parents!

Now, isn’t it one of the most interesting facts about Italy?

Political Facts About Italy

Important information! If you are traveling from outside the EU, you will probably need ETIAS travel authorization to visit Italy, please check ETIAS requirements for more information about this new electric border control system.

The Country Is Actually Called the Italian Republic

Many people simply refer to the country as Italy but technically it is called the Italian Republic. This winds up happening a lot of the time, where people wind up abbreviating the name of a country in some minor way.

As an example, people rarely say “the United States of America.” It’s much simpler to simply say America and everyone understands what you are referring to.

Tourism Is Huge in Italy

Italy is one of the most popular places to visit in the entire world and tourism actually accounts for over sixty percent of Italy’s national income. It has a lot of interesting places for people to see and plenty of history for people to indulge in.

Rome, as mentioned above, is one of the best places to visit in Italy. Other popular destinations include Venice, Naples, and Florence.

If you want to visit this country, another worth-knowing fact about Italy is that Vatican City is also located within the country.

Technically, the Vatican is a country unto itself, though. The Vatican is the smallest country in the world but it has its own system of government and autonomy. Regardless, it is worth mentioning due to its close proximity to the other popular destinations in Italy.


People love visiting the Vatican as often as they can. It brings in a significant amount of Catholics who are on religious pilgrimages on a yearly basis.

The roots of Catholicism run deeply in Italy as well and you will find many interesting churches around the country.

Whether you seek to enjoy the history of the ancient world, destinations related to Catholicism, a stunning TEFL teaching job or all of the interesting aspects that modern Italy has to offer, you will surely find Italy to be an excellent tourist spot.

Italy Has The Highest Number Of UNESCO Sites In The World!

One of the most amazing facts about Italy is that the country has 55 UNESCO heritage sites! It is basically more than any other country in the world (except China which also has 55 sites).

Italy has 50 UNESCO cultural sites and 5 natural sites, whereas China has 37 cultural sites, 4 mixed sites, and 14 natural sites.

The most popular UNESCO world heritage sites in Italy are:

  • Venice
  • City of Verona
  • The historic center of Rome
  • The historic center of Naples
  • The historic center of Florence
  • The historic center of Siena
  • Mount Etna
  • Pompeii ruins
  • Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi 
  • Amalfi Coast
  • The Dolomites

Italy Was a Founding Member of the European Union

The European Union was formed in 1993. Italy was among the eight nations that founded the European Union and have received the designation of being a G8 country.

The EU has grown to include many countries since it was founded in 1993 and has certainly changed Europe in many ways. Italy, along with France and Germany, is seen as one of the most important countries in the EU.

Historical Facts About Italy

Italy Is Home To World’s Oldest University

The University of Bologna was founded in the 11th century and it’s operating until today! The most famous people who have been studying on this university are:

  • Umberto Eco
  • Nicolaus Copernicus
  • Paracelsus

Rome Is Almost 3,000 Years Old!

Rome is the capital city of Italy and is an ancient city. You can date Rome back almost 3,000 years and it has an incredibly rich history.

Some people have referred to Rome as “the eternal city” due to its age and the wonders of the old world that can be found within its borders. People love to visit Rome because it has so many intriguing remnants of ancient times that are still standing.

Of course, many of the ancient structures are only partially intact. Many of the buildings are remarkably well-preserved, though. Tourists love to visit attractions such as the Sistine Chapel, the Coliseum, the Dome of St. Peter’s, and the Trevi Fountain.

If you plan to visit Italy, then making a trip to Rome is an absolute must. You should also think of visiting Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, Venice and of course, Sicily.

The Most Amazing Italian Inventions

This fun facts about Italy post won’t be complete without mentioning the best Italian inventions.

Here are some of them:

  • pizza!
  • jeans
  • bank
  • jacuzzi
  • stock exchange
  • radio
  • helicopter
  • calculator
  • piano
  • Nutella
  • microscope
  • parachute
  • telephone
  • violin
  • many, many more.

The Fork Was Popularized in Italy

fork italy facts
Fun fact of Italy: the fork was invented there.

If you’re looking for odder fun facts about Italy, then you will be interested to hear that the fork was popularized in Italy. In Europe, the fork was not a popular eating utensil until the Italians started widely using it.

Forks are very convenient for eating pasta and since pasta dishes are such a staple of the Italian diet, it made sense to adopt forks as a standard tool. The use of forks eventually spread throughout the rest of Europe and then to the world at large.

Fun Facts About Italy for Kids

As we mentioned in the previous interesting fact of Italy, the family is very important for Italians. Here are a few facts of Italy for kids:

  • Christopher Colombus and Marco Polo (famous explorers) were Italian.
  • If you take a look at a map, Italy is known for looking like a high-heeled boot.
  • Most people eat pasta at least once a day in Italy.

Have you ever heard of this top fact about Italy for kids?

  • Pinocchio was first published in an Italian newspaper!
Italy facts for kids
There are many Italy facts for kids!

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Did you enjoy reading these fun facts about Italy? Let us know in the comments below!

17 Responses

  1. Your article is very interesting. I hope you enjoy some additional information from a local.

    Rome became the capital of Italy after the so called “Capture of Rome” in 20 September 1870. It was the final event of the long process of Italian unification known as the “Risorgimento” and “Wars of Independence”. Marking both the final defeat of the Papal States under Pope Pius IX and the unification of the Italy under the House of Savoy.

    At 15,771 feet, “Mont Blanc” or “Monte bianco” is Western Europe’s tallest peak, straddling the borders of Italy and France.

    Tourism is one of the main industries in Italy, but it represented roughly 13 percent of Italian gross domestic product (2% agricolture, 24% industry, 61% services, 13% tourism).

    The Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) found in 2015 that 29.0% of the population went to church, synagogue, mosque, temple or another house of worship on a weekly basis. The share of practising believers was higher in Southern Italy (33.5%) than the North-West (27.7%), the North-East (26.8%) and the Centre (25.0%).

  2. Italy has the lowest birth rate probably because of the daunting options for giving birth in Italian hospitals haha! Kidding, but kinda true actually.

  3. Great post! I’m definitely going to bookmark this. Thank you so much for the posts; reading your blog was very informative! You obviously put a lot of effort into it. Awesome Pictures! Keep it up!

  4. thank u for the helpful info on this website i was enlighnted by all the life changing that you had about italy. i will know present this info in a broshure thank you again for this wonderful miracelis info.

  5. I am curious why you added coronavirus as an “interesting fact”. It seems highly unnecessary and stating that it originated in Italy is misleading.

    1. Thanks for your comment. However, it’s clearly stated that coronavirus started in China, please read again
      The recent outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that originally started in China has now moved to Europe.

      1. in the title it clearly states “The Coronavirus Outbreak In Europe Started In Italy” which is indeed misleading

  6. You might want to reconsider this Article. I wonder how you can state as a fact that the outbreak in Europe began in Italy? There is no evidence for this, Italy just started testing and looking for the virus earlier when other EU countries were in denial while still having high and unusual pneumonia case.
    France has recently announced that it had a case in December of coronavirus where the patient had no contact with China, evidence of the fact that the virus was already spreading in Europe.
    Please don’t spread misinformation and do more research.
    kind regards.

  7. What’s even more interesting in this context is the fact that the predecessor of the European Union – the European Economic Community (EEC) – was established in 1957 in the Treaty of Rome, with the same 6 founding members: Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and West-Germany.
    Italy has been at the forefront of economic cooperation in Europe for the past 60 years.

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