Italy is officially known as the Italian Republic.
Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2, due to its shape, it is often referred to in Italy as lo Stivale meaning the Boot.
Italy, commanding a long Mediterranean coastline, has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine.
Vatican City and San Marino are very small independent states located inside Italy.
Official language is Italian.
Italy is the 5th most populous country in Europe. In 2015 was estimated to have a population of 60,795,612.
Rome, Italy’s capital, is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display.
Rome was the home to the Ancient Romans, a civilization that grew into a huge empire. Western civilization as we know today is based on many Ancient Roman principles.
Other major cities include Milan, Naples, Turin, and Palermo.
Italy is fourth most visited country in the world.
Italy is home to Europe’s only tree active volcanoes: Etna, Stromboli, and Vesuvius. They are a constant danger to humans due to their closeness to big cities.
Italy is home to the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with 50.
Many of the world’s most famous artists were Italian, with such names as Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Fra Angelico, Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Bernini, Titian and Raphael, among many others.
Famous Italian explorers include Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, John Cabot, and Amerigo Vespucci.
The Italians invented the viol, violin, cello and piano, and were the greatest representative of Baroque music (Vivaldi, Corelli, Monteverdi, Albinoni…).
The world’s oldest university in continuous operation is the University of Bologna, in Italy, founded in 1088.
Italy is the world’s largest exporter of wine.
Fourteen billion espressos are consumed in Italy each year, and Italians use 3.7 kg of coffee per capita.
Italy is world’s 2nd largest producer of olive oil after Spain
Olive oil, has been a symbol of Italian food and of the history of Italian cuisine.
Italians used to be known for having large families, however Italy is now known for having Europe’s lowest birthrate.
Lillies are the national flower of Italy.
Many Shakespeare plays were set in Italy, including Othello and the Merchant of Venice.
A 14th-century medieval tower rises out of Lake Reschensee, in Italy. It’s the only visible building of a submerged village.
The first thermometer was made by Italian inventor Santorio Santorio in 1612.
Italian Alessandro Volta invented the first battery in the 1800s.
A Vespa is an Italian-made motor scooter that many people ride around busy city streets.
Pizza was invented in Naples and dates back to 1860.
The use of pasta in Italy can be traced back as far as the 4th century B.C.
About 3,000 Euros are thrown into the Trevi fountain, in Italy, each day.
Italy has more hotel rooms than any other nation in Europe.
There’s a restaurant built into a grotto in Italy.
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.
“Ferrari” as a last name is the Italian equivalent of “Smith“.
Italian Traffic Police has two Lamborghini Gallado in service.
In 2013, an Italian man under house arrest asked to go to prison to escape his wife.
The Italian island of Sicily is famous for being home of the illicit Mafia criminal organization.
A cat inherited a $13 million fortune from its owner in Italy.
In 1968, a man built a platform off the coast of Italy and declared himself the President of his micronation. The Italian government seized control and blew it up with explosives.