25 Quirky & Fun Facts About Italy

Yes, we’ve heard of the Colosseum, and Pasta and Renaissance Art and Wines. But did you know that Italy was the birthplace of the thermometer & the battery?! Read on for more fun and interesting facts about Italy and get your foreign exchange online before you set off for this historic land of culture, art and inviting an Mediterranean weather.

  1. Around 3000 Euros of change is thrown into the Trevi fountain by tourists daily. It is then collected and donated to charity.
  2. Italy has been a country for only 153 years
  3. Italy is home to Europe’s only 3 active volcanoes: Etna, Stromboli, and Vesuvius
  4. Italy has 50 UNESCO world heritage sites, the most of any country in the world
  5. The first thermometer was made by Italian Inventor Santorio Santorio in 1612
  6. Up until 1999, children only had to attend school until they were 14
  7. The use of pasta in Italy can be traced as far back as the 4th century BC
  8. The Olympics have been held in Italy 3 times –in 1956, 1960 and 2006
  9. In terms of populations, Italy is the third oldest country in the world , behind Japan & Germany. Almost 20% of Italy’s population is over 65 years old.
  10. Lilies are the national flower of Italy
  11. Fourteen Billion Espressos are consumed in Italy each year, and Italians use 3.7 kg of Coffee per capita
  12. The name of Electricity measurement Volt comes from Alessandro Volta, who invented the first battery in 1779.
  13. Italy’s contributions to science include the barometer, the electric battery, nitroglycerin, and wireless telegraphy.
  14. Influenced in part by the French flag, the Italian flag has evolved over several hundred years. The flag is vertically divided into three equal sections of green, white, and red, representing hope, faith, and charity. Another interpretation is that the green represents the Italian landscape, white represents the snow-capped Alps, and red represents the bloodshed that brought about the independence of Italy.
  15. The piano hails from Italy.
  16. There are currently more than 500 different types of pasta eaten in Italy today
  17. The automobile is one of Italy’s greatest products.  In addition to the Fiat brand, Fiat owns the Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Chrysler brands.
  18. Italy is home to two microstates, San Marino and Vatican City .
  19. BesidesJulius Caesar, Shakespeare has set several plays in Italy: Romeo and JulietOthelloThe Merchant of VeniceAntony and CleopatraCoriolanusCymbelineMuch Ado About NothingOthello,The Taming of the ShrewTitus AndronicusThe Two Gentlemen of VeronaA Winter’s Tale.
  20. When McDonald’s opened in 1986 in Rome, food purists outside the restaurant gave away free spaghetti to remind people of their culinary heritage.
  21. The Eau de Cologne was invented in Italy.
  22. Italians spend more on clothes and shoes than any other 27members of the EU. It amounts to 10% of their total expenditure .
  23. At its height in A.D. 117, the Roman Empire stretched from Portugal in the West to Syria in the east, and from Britain in the North to the North African deserts across the Mediterranean. It covered 2.3 million miles (two-thirds the size of the U.S.)
  24. In northern Italy, last names tend to end in “i”, while those from the south often end in “o.”
  25. Soccer was introduced to Italians in the late 1800s by the British, but it was not until the 1930s under Mussolini that the sport took off on an international level

Source: roughguides.com, facts.randomhistory.com

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