Interesting Facts About Italy


There are many great facts about Italy that are not widely known. Did you know that Italy is four fifths mountainous or hilly? Did you know that Italy comes from the word italia which means calf land which came about because the southern tribes’ symbol was a bull. There are many wonderful things about Italy, and I’d love to hear about your facts.


Yes, there are many little know facts about Italy to discuss. Did you know that Italy is approximately 116,400 square miles including Sicily and Sardinia, which is a little larger than Arizona? Gee whiz, you could really travel Italy, see it’s most famous site in just a few days! But, I would want to take at least a week to really get a good sense of the food and ambiance.


Here are some more facts…

  • The Italian population was 61.6 million in 2016 (That’s 6 times more than in Belgium). The population of Rome is 2.6 million.

  • Italy has three active volcanoes, all three are located in the south.

  • Mc Donalds opened in Rome in 1986. From what I’ve read, that didn’t go over too well.

  • Parmesan cheese finds its origin around Parma, Italy.

  • There are two independent states within Italy. One is Vatican city, and the other is the republic of San Marino.

  • Vatican city is just 108.7 square acres, and the republic of San Marino is 25 square miles.

  • Italy is currently the seventh largest economy in the world. It wasn’t always that way, but they have improved a lot.

  • Italy has more earth quakes than any other country in Europe. An estimated 100,000 people died in 1693 when an earthquake hit Sicily. In addition to earthquakes, Italy also has the most volcanoes. In the past hundred years, Etna, Versuvius and Stromboli have erupted.

  • Vatican City is the only nation in the entire world that can lock its doors at night.

  • Approximately 85% of all Italians are Roman Catholic.

  • At the end of the 16th century, the first operas ever were composed in Italy.


It’s not that big, true, but it’s filled with wonders, some thousands of years old. I think a lifetime is not enough to travel and discover the entire Italy and all the attractions it has.


I heard about the opening of McDonald’s. It was so bad that there were people giving away spaghetti so that people wouldn;t forget their heritage and what a rich culture they have. Funny, huh? I can see why the folks, especially the older ones, would do something like that. Mama’s spaghetti is always better than McDonald’s!


Did you know that the University of Rome is one of the oldest universities in the world? It was founded by the Catholic church in 1303 AD. Can you imagine what those buildings are like? The history and culture shone in a school. I wonder if they have online courses? :laughing: Just had to get that one out!


I think Italy has the oldest Universities in the entire world. The Renaissance began in Italy and that started a huge surge of Universities to pop up in cultural centers around the country.


Here are some more interesting facts about Italy…

  • The official name of Italy is Italian Republic.

  • The Italian wolf is the unofficial national animal.

  • The San Siro stadium in Milan can hold up to 85,000 people.

  • Of all Holidays, Christmas is considered the biggest Holiday in Italy. Traditionally, the Italians celebrate Christmas Eve with a big feast. There is usually seafood on the menu that night.

  • Italy was among the founders of the European Union.

  • It is custom for single Italian children to live at home until they are in their thirties, regardless of whether they have a job or not.

  • The Sardinian islands are famous for people who make health potions for the locals. They are called witches, speak their own language and pass it on to their kids. The witches are usually women.

  • The Lotschberg Tunnel is the longest tunnel in the world, it is a 22 mile long railway tunnel between Switzerland and Italy.

  • The birth rate in Italy is the second lowest in the western world. People who have more than 1 child can get a reward.

  • During the prosecution of Jews in Europe during world war two, some jews went to hide in the ancient catacombs in Italy.


Well there we go. I learned something new today. I did not know that the official name of Italy is Italian Republic. I just always assumed it was called Italy. These are cool facts about Italy you have mentioned.


Really interesting facts. Thanks for sharing this. Interesting that they have such a low birth rate. I always thought Italian families are really big, with lots of brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles.


Some facts you might find interesting:

  • Over the course of history, Italy had three capital cities: the first one was Turin, in North-Western Italy, then Florence and in the end Rome;

  • Italy is the country with the highest number of sites belonging to the Unesco World Heritage with 53 inscribed properties;

  • The oldest film festival in the world is Venice Film Festival, founded in 1932;

  • The Bank, the check, the promissory note and the insurance policy were invented in Italy.


Venice also had almost achieved monopoly in trade during the 14th century. It was one of the biggest trade cities in the entire world.


It’s a sad fact, and yes it’s true, Italy has a very low birth rate. But I’ve never heard about any family getting a reward for having more than 1 child. What kind of reward are we talking about?
I have few friends who already have 2 kids but none of them mentioned anything like this (aside from the government aid that every new parent gets).

  • I learnt that Italians take their food very serious. My lecturer told me that Italians claim to have taught the rest of Europe how to cook. He said Italy is responsible for introducing the world to ice cream (with the help of the Chinese) coffee, and fruit pies.

  • The biggest holiday in Italy is Christmas. Many people celebrate Christmas Eve with a huge feast, sometimes featuring seafood.

  • I discovered recently that Over 50 million tourists a year visit Italy.

  • It is obvious that Italian families stand at the heart of Italian society because many single Italian children live at home until their 30s, even if they have a job.


From what I know, when countries do this, it’s usually a financial incentive. One of the reasons fewer people are having children is due to the financial difficulties of having children.

Currently, Italy offers 80 euros per month for low to middle income families up to the child’s third birthday, although there are talks of doubling the 80 euros and adding even more financial incentives (according to an ABC article in 2016).

  • The designs minted in the Italian Euros were decided by Italian people through televoting;

  • Italian people who work in the showbiz are very superstitious and believe that the colour purple brings bad luck. You’ll never see an actor or a TV host wearing purple while on stage;

  • Italians invented musical notations and some instruments like the violin, the viola and the piano.


I can add a very interesting one!

Although the Pope resides in Vatican, Rome, Italy… the country is secular, by law. You’d think Italy is the motherland of Catholics, but the law says otherwise. However, there’s an agreement between the Vatican and the Italian state which regulates certain aspects regarding the Church. Also, more than 80%of Italians are raised Catholic, many people regularly go to Church, they respect all religious Holidays and yet, Italy is a secular country.


Yep, true. The Constitution says we are a “stato laico” (a secular country), but in reality the situation is a little bit controversial…even though the law states Italy is secular, the Vatican has had interferences all the time in our politics.

The fact that Italians go regularly to the Mass is a bit of a myth nowadays. The number of the churchgoers and the number of religious marriages have decreased exponentially.

I feel like people believe us more religious than we truly are. I mean, we do have Christian roots, but it’s also true we have Romans’ blood and their “seize the moment” kind of mentality, if you know what I mean :sweat::joy:


70% of communications is made with gesture, movments of arms and hands :smiley:


I think this is the most surprising one for me. You really get to see just how diverse Italy is geographically and how much it has to offer.