Whether you hail from this stunning country or you’re looking to take a vacation here, brush up on your local knowledge with these 18 fun facts about Italy!
1. Italy benefits from land and sea borders
Italy is a beautiful and culturally rich country in Europe. It is bordered by Switzerland and Austria to the north, Slovakia to the east and France to the west. It also has a coastline along the Mediterranean Sea, Adriatic Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea and the Ionian Sea!
To enjoy an Italian adventure, head for the coordinates 41.9000° N, 12.4833°
2. Italy is large and rugged!
The terrain here is mostly rugged and mountainous, with a few plains and coastal lowlands.
The total land area of Italy is 116,345 square miles (301,333 square kilometres)… — that’s slightly larger than the UK.
3. Italy is sparser than Britain
Italy’s population was 60.36 million in 2019 – that’s about 10% less than the population of the UK.
4. There’s a collective name for Italy’s citizens
Residents here are of course known as Italians.
5. Italy has a world-famous capital
The capital is Rome; it covers an area of 496 square miles (1,285 square kilometres) and had a population of 2.873 million in 2017.
6. Italy is remarkably balmy
Italians enjoy a predominantly Mediterranean climate with hot and dry weather, whilst those living in the Alps in the far north of the country experience an alpine climate with warm summers and cold, snowy winters!
7. Italy is volcano country!
Did you know that Italy is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes? Mount Vesuvius last erupted in 1944, whilst Mount Etna, which also happens to be the highest European volcano, last erupted in 2015!
8. Italy boasts a country within a country!
Vatican City in Rome is the smallest country in the world!
9. Italy is immensely historically important
Italy boasts an incredible 51 UNESCO sites, more than any other country in the world!
10. Italy’s education system dates back centuries
The University of Bologna, founded in 1088, is the oldest university in Europe!
11. Italy has an interesting ‘lake building’ worth looking out for
In the middle of Lake Reschensee, the tower of a 14th century church is the last remaining visible building left from the village that once stood there before the artificial lake was created!
12. Italians have an incredibly long lifespan
Italians live for an average of 83.35 sun-kissed years (2018).
13. Heat measurement was made easier in Italy
The thermometer is an Italian invention, with Galileo Galilei inventing the thermoscope in 1596, followed by Santorio Santorio adding a scale in 1612 to create the first air thermometer, and finally Ferdinand II, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who in 1654, created the first sealed liquid-in-glass thermometer.
14. Italy has an immense tourism scene
Unsurprisingly, Italy is the fifth most visited country in the world, after China, Spain, USA and France who took the top spot in 2014.
15. Italians love a cup of Joe
Fancy a cup of coffee? Italians consume around 14 billion (yes, billion) espressos each year! (Collectively, not each!).
16. Italian gondolas only come in one color
Did you know that there was a law passed in 1562 which says that all gondolas must be painted black?
17. Italy’s food production is well-loved
18. Italy has a diverse industry model, too!
Its industry consists of tourism, chemicals, wine, textiles, clothing, machinery, iron and steel.
Italy exports engineering products, production machinery, motor vehicles, transport equipment, textiles and clothing.
FAQs about Italy
Is it safe for me to visit Italy?
On the whole, Italy is actually fairly safe - it’s a safer country on the whole than the US, significantly so!
Do people speak English in Italy?
Yes, though most speak Italian as their first language - up to a third of Italian people will speak English fluently.
Is Italian a difficult language to learn?
On the whole, Italian is actually thought to be one of the easiest languages for English speakers to get used to!
Do you know any fun facts about Italy? Share them in the comments below!