39 Awesome Facts About Italy

Italy is a country in south-southeast Europe that is shaped like a boot. It is one of the world’s seven most industrialized nations. The arts, family, architecture, music, and food are all important aspects of Italian culture. It is also the birthplace of the Roman Empire and a major center of Renaissance culture, which has flourished for centuries on the Italian peninsula. The role of the family in Italian culture cannot be overstated. Italians love spending time with their families and have regular family gatherings. So, here are 40 fascinating things about Italy that you probably didn’t know.

  1. Italy shares borders with Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, and France. There are also two small countries within the country: San Marino and Vatican City.
  2. The biggest business in the country is the Mafia. The turnover of the mafia business was 140 billion euros(over $204 billion) in the year 2012.
  3. In Italy, 13 is not an unlucky number, but 17. It is because when viewed the number in Roman numeral, XVII, it is then changed anagrammatically to VIXI, which in the Latin language translates to “I lived,” the perfect implying “My life is over.”
  4. Some trendy cuisines of the world are Italian. Some of them are Pizza, Pasta, and Lasagna.
  5. Italy is the largest producer of wine in the whole world, followed by France and Spain. The country produced 54.8 million hectolitres of wine in the year 2018.
    Italian Wine and Pizza ©Pixabay
  6. The name Italy comes from the word Italia which means “calf land” it is because the bull was a symbol of the southern Italian tribes.
  7. The official name of Italy is the Italian Republic or Repubblica Italiana.
  8. Italy is the 6th most populous country in Europe. Russia being the most populous.
  9. Almost 40% of the Italian land is mountainous or hilly, the alps mountain range lies in the northern part, and the Apennine mountains form the backbone of the peninsula and extend for 1,350 (840 miles).
  10. Mont Blanc is the highest mountain peak with an elevation of 4810 meters (15,780 ft). The second highest peak is the lyskamm and has an elevation of 4,527 (14,852 ft).
    Mount Blanc ©Pixabay
  11. The capital of Italy, Rome (also known as the Eternal City), is one of the oldest cities in the world and is about 3,000 years old. The city was chosen as the capital of the country in 1870.
  12. The country was under dictatorship rule from the year 1925 to 1945. Benito Mussolini was the fascist dictator of that time.
  13. The colors of the Italian flag are derived from the French flag, from which the Italian is inspired. The blue color was replaced by the green of Milan’s Civic Guard. The green color symbolizes hope, while white represents faith, and red signifies charity.
  14. Football is the national sport of Italy. The country has won the FIFA World cup championship four times.
  15. Italy has the most number of UNESCO world heritage sites on the planet, followed by China. The country has over 50 cultural sites, and five sites are natural, making the total count to 55.
    Pompeii Ancient City Italy ©Pixabay
  16. Lily is the country’s national flower as it is associated with the Virgin Mary in the religious context.
  17. Italy is the 5th most visited country in the world. In the year 2018, 62.1 million tourists from all over the world visited the country.
  18. Some very important world-changing inventions took place in the country. A few of them are jeans, a newspaper, jacuzzi, Telephone, Radio, Battery, Piano, Banks, Typewriter, Espresso machine, the first nuclear reactor, and the first automatic rifle.
  19. Italy is the 5th country to have the most median age with 45.5 years of age.
  20. Trevi Fountain is the biggest fountain in the country and is located in the capital city Rome. It is estimated that 3,000 euros of coins are thrown in the fountain every day. In the year 2016, an estimate of €1.4 million (US$1.5 million) was thrown into the fountain. The money was being used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome’s needy.
    Trevi Fountain Italy and Rome
    Trevi Fountain Italy and Rome ©Pixabay
  21. Italy is home to the world’s oldest bank. The Banca Monte Dei Paschi di Siena headquartered in Siena, was founded in 1472 and is still in operation.
  22. Christopher Columbus, a renowned explorer, and navigator was an Italian.
  23. The religious break down of the country consists of 85.6% Christian (78.9% are Catholic, 4.6% are orthodox Christians, 0.6% are Protestants, 1.5% consist of other Christians), while 2.6% belong to other religions and 11.7% are non-religious (7.5% atheists, 4.2% agnostics).
  24. The country has the 16th most biggest coastline in the world, with 7600 km of coastline.
  25. Italy has three main active volcanoes: Etna, Vesuvius, and Stromboli. Stromboli is one of the most active volcanoes on the planet and has almost been erupting continuously since the year 1932.
    Etna Volcano ©Pixabay
  26. The university of bologna of Italy is the oldest university globally and was established in the year 1088.
  27. Some huge car brands are Italian. Some of them are Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lancia, Abarth, and Maserati.
  28. There are 479 museums in the country, making it one of the countries to have the most museums.
  29. The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest film festival on the globe and one of the most prestigious too.
  30. Vatican city is situated in the heart of the capital city Rome and is the smallest country in the world with an area of up to 0,44 km². With the signing of the Lateran Treaty between Pope Pius XI and Mussolini on February 11, 1929, the Vatican City was declared independent from the rest of Italy.
    Vatican City ©Pixabay
  31. In 2019 about 13.7% of the population were at the age of 0-14 years, 63.82% were of 15-64 years of age, 23.01% were over 65 years of age.
  32. The country has over 450 islands, out of which Sicily is the biggest and Panarea is the smallest island.
  33. Gotthard base tunnel is the biggest tunnel in the world that connects the rail network between Switzerland and Italy.
  34. Monte d’Accoddi is the oldest building in the country and dates back to 4,000–3,650 BC.
  35. Italy has over 1500 lakes, Lake Garda being the biggest with an area of 370 km2 and a maximum depth of 346 m (1,135 ft).
    Garda Lake ©Pixabay
  36. There are 25 national parks that comprise roughly 5% of Italy’s total land.
  37. The country is the 8th biggest exporter of goods and services on the planet. It is also the 9th biggest importer in the world.
  38. The top 5 exports of Italy are Packaged Medicaments ($20.2 Billion), Cars ($17.2 Billion), Refined Petroleum ($16.1 Billion), Vehicle Parts ($15.2 Billion), and Valves ($8.27 Billion).
  39. The top 5 imports of Italy are Crude Petroleum ($41.9 Billion), Cars ($32.4 Billion), Petroleum Gas ($18.2 Billion), Packaged Medicaments ($16.9 Billion), and Refined Petroleum ($10.3 Billion).

  • POPULATION: 6.04 crores
  • GDP NOMINAL: $1.989 trillion
  • GDP RANK: 8th
  • CURRENCY: Euro
  • FOUNDED: 17 March 1861
  • FATHER OF THE NATION: Camillo Benso
  • TOTAL AREA: 301,338 km2
  • AREA RANK: 71st worldwide
  • CONTINENT: Europe
  • ARMY STRENGTH:165,500
  • ARMY RANK: 12th
  • LITERACY RATE: 98.85%
  • PER CAPITA INCOME: 44,630 PPP dollars (2019)


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