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20 Fun Italy Facts

These Italy facts will amaze you and inspire you to visit: Italy is home to 61.6 million people where 33 percent of them have never used the internet. In Italy, police often drive a Lamborghini Gallardo, yet the unemployment rate has been north of 10% since 2012. Italy’s capital, Rome, is called the Eternal City and had 71 Roman emperors.

Italy is a fun and exciting country to visit for people of all ages. Here are 20 fun and interesting facts about Italy for kids.

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Where Is Italy?

Italy is a country in Southern Europe that occupies the Italian Peninsula, the major islands of Sicily and Sardinia, and the small islands of Elba, Capri, and Ischia.

Italy’s Geography

Because of its shape and location, Italy has a coastline of over 4,722 miles (7,600 kilometers).

Italy is famous for its mountains and hills. The Italian Alps act as a natural border between Italy and its northern neighbors: Switzerland, France, Slovenia, and Austria.

Mont Blanc is the country’s tallest mountain with a height of 15,776 ft (4,807 m).

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The river Po is Italy’s most famous and longest river.

The Italian mainland is traversed by the Apennines separating the Eastern and the Western portions of the country.

The northern landscape is famous for its lakes, while volcanos are one of the main features of the South of Italy. Its most famous and still active volcanos are Etna on the island of Sicily, Vesuvius in the outskirts of Naples, and Stromboli just off the coast.

Land of Volcanoes and Earthquakes

Because of its volcanic activity, Italy has more earthquakes than any other European state.

Italy’s Climate

Italy has a typical Mediterranean climate.

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“Italy, and the spring and first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy.” — Bertrand Russell

The Flag of Italy

The flag of Italy is often referred to in Italy as il Tricolore because of its three colors. Three vertical bands of equal size make up the national flag. The colors are, from left to right, pale green, white, and pale red.

Green represents hope, white represents faith, and red represents charity.

Republic

Italy is officially known as the Italian Republic. Its political system is a Unitarian constitutional parliamentary republic.

It is a member state of the European Union.

How Old Is Italy?

Actually, as the modern unified nation that we know today, Italy is not very old. Italy was only unified in 1861.

Italian Regions

There are many regions in Italy:

  • Abruzzo
  • Aosta Valley
  • Apulia
  • Basilicata
  • Calabria
  • Campania
  • Emilia-Romagna
  • Friuli-Venezia Giulia
  • Lazio (where Rome is)
  • Liguria
  • Lombardy
  • Marches
  • Molise
  • Sardinia (autonomous region)
  • Sicily (autonomous region)
  • Trentino-South Tyrol (autonomous region)
  • Tuscany
  • Umbria
  • Veneto

Languages of Italy

The nationally official language is Italian, which most people speak, but there are many other native languages spoken in Italy.

Some of those languages have the official recognition of being “historical language minorities”: Albanian, Catalan, German, Greek, Slovene, Croatian, French, Franco-Provençal, Friulian, Ladin, Occitan, and Sardinian.

“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” — Giuseppe Verdi

Some of those minority languages and others that are not officially recognized are in danger of disappearing.

Italian Traditions

Italy is widely a Catholic country. So, most of its traditions are similar to those celebrated in other Catholic nations in Europe and around the world.

It has many local or regional traditions such as the Venice Carnival. Most Italians take time off in the middle of the summer, usually for most of or the whole of the month of August. They called this holiday Ferragosto.

Attractions and Other Landmarks in Italy

Some of the main attractions for kids in Italy are the following:

  • The leaning tower of Pisa.
  • Venice for its canals and gondolas.
  • Florence for its Renaissance art.
  • Rome, known as the eternal city.
  • The Alps for skiing breaks.
  • The region of Tuscany for its serene landscapes.

Italian Celebrities

Apart from Italian-American celebrities such as Robert De Niro or Al Pacino, there are many famous Italian natives that are well-known around the world, such as the fashion designer Donatella Versace, the opera singer Andrea Bocelli, the actress Sophia Loren, the politician Silvio Berlusconi, or the composer Ennio Morricone.

Leonardo Da Vinci

One of the best-known Italian figures from the past is the artist and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci.

But there are also many other Italian historical figures that will ring a bell: the dictator Benito Mussolini, the scientist Galileo Galilei, the sculptor Michelangelo, the explorer Marco Polo, the writer Dante Alighieri, the philosopher Thomas Aquinas, the painter Raphael, the discoverer Amerigo Vespucci (the guy America gets its name from!), the writer and philosopher Umberto Eco.

Artistic Masterpieces

Because of the country’s importance in the history of art, Italy is estimated to be the country of the world with more masterpieces per square mile in the world.

Italian Food

Italian food is also well-known around the world. In Italy, most people eat pasta every day.

But apart from pasta, there is pizza, lasagna, mozzarella, tiramisu, and gelato among some of the delicious Italian food that tastes even better in Italy!

“I love places that have an incredible history. I love the Italian way of life. I love the food. I love the people. I love the attitudes of Italians.” — Elton John

Italian Animals

Because of its geography and climate, Italy is home to many different animal species.

In the South, you will see lots of sheep. And in rural areas around the country, donkeys are still used.

There are some brown bears still in the North, and even some lynxes and marmots up in the Italian Alps.

Micro-States

Italy is unique in that, there are two microstates that are fully independent even though they are surrounded by Italy. Such is the case of the Vatican City and the Republic of San Marino.

Even though the Vatican is in Rome, it is actually an independent state.

Sports

Did you know that Italy is one of the best countries for sports-lovers in the world?

Italians are passionate about soccer, cycling, motor racing, skiing, and other sports.

Soccer

Did you know that the Italian word for soccer is Calcio?

Some soccer teams are so good that they even have fans outside of Italy. The best-known Calcio teams are Lazio (Rome), Juventus (Turin), and Inter (Milan).

The Italian Family

The family is at the center of Italian life. The image of an Italian Mamma cooking for her family is not just a cliché. It is still a reality for many Italians.

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