Whether you’re from this stunning country or you’re looking to relocate here, brush up on your local knowledge with these 26 interesting facts about Italy!
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°
Flag of Italy
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 about 10% less than the population of the UK.
Residents here are of course known as Italians.
Colosseum, Roma, Italy
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.
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!
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!
Vatican City in Rome is the smallest country in the world!
Italy boasts an incredible 51 UNESCO sites, more than any other country in the world!
The University of Bologna, founded in 1088, is the oldest university in Europe!
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!
The official language of Italy is Italian… “Bella Italia!”.
Euro is the official currency here.
Italians live for an average of 83.24 sun-kissed years (2017).
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.
Unsurprisingly, Italy is the fifth most visited country in the world, after China, Spain, USA and France who took the top spot in 2014.
Fancy a cup of coffee? Italians consume around 14 billion (yes, billion) espressos each year! (Collectively, not each!).
Did you know that there was a law passed in 1562 which says that all gondolas must be painted black?