Fun Facts of Italy You Didn’t Know About
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.
The Coronavirus Outbreak In Europe Started In Italy
Italy was hit harder than anywhere else in the European Union by the coronavirus outbreak. The schools, cinemas, churches, gyms are all closed in Northern Italy. The supermarkets’ shelves are empty, many flights to Italy are being canceled.
No one knows whether it’s the end of only the beginning of the global crisis.
All Three of Europe’s Active Volcanoes Are Located in Italy
Interestingly, all three of the active volcanoes that are located in Europe are located in Italy. This is one of the most interesting facts of Italy. These three volcanoes are Etna, Stromboli, 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.
Pasta Has Been in Use Since the 4th Century BCE
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.
Interesting facts of Italy don’t get much more ancient than that. 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
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?
It’s 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.
Italy Is Full of Hills and 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.
Italians Have Created Many Types of Cheese
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, gorgonzola, ricotta, and provolone.
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.
Rome Is the Capital of Italy
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.
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 biggest tourist destinations in the country. Other popular destinations include Venice, Naples, and Florence.
If you want to visit this country, another fun fact of Italy that would be important to note would be that the 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, or all of the interesting aspects that modern Italy has to offer, you will surely find Italy to be an excellent tourist spot.
There are other fun facts in Italy that are worth knowing such as that Italy has 50 UNESCO heritage sites, which is basically more than any other country in the world.
Italy Is Overwhelmingly Roman Catholic
Around eighty-five percent 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.
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 has 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.
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 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.
The Fork Was Popularized in Italy
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!
Did we forget anything? Are there any interesting facts in Italy you would like to share with us? Let us know in the comments!