Italy is one of the most historical countries in the world. But with great history comes a sense of the unknown for many people. Do you even know how old the country is? Do you know what the people are like or what their traditions are?
If the answer to either of these questions is “no”, then here are 15 fun facts about Italy that will certainly make you want to learn more.
Table of Contents
- 1 It Has Existed For More Than 2000 Years
- 2 The Trevi Fountain Is A Source of Wealth For Rome
- 3 Pinocchio Was Italian
- 4 Super Mario Is Also Italian, Sorta
- 5 Italy Has the Most UNESCO Word Sites
- 6 Italy Has Active Volcanoes
- 7 It Has A Country Within It
- 8 The Flag Is Green, Red, and White
- 9 One of the Most Popular Tourist Destinations
- 10 Football Is the Country’s Main Sport
- 11 Columbus Was Italian
- 12 Pizza Was Invented In Naples
- 13 Italy Loves Wine
- 14 San Marino Is Yet Another Country Inside Italy
- 15 The Alps Separate Italy And Its Northern Neighbors
It Has Existed For More Than 2000 Years
Ever since Rome was built, the great history and tradition of the Italian people began. Arguably one of the biggest and most successful empires to have ever existed, Rome is the ancestor of the country of Italy.
Rome is also the capital of the country, and boy is the city magnificent and breathtaking. A stroll down the streets of Rome is like a tour of a history museum. And don’t think that’s all you’re getting. Here is a link to the most iconic things to see in Rome.
And while Italy only came to be known as a country in 1861, Rome has existed ever since 753 BC.
The Trevi Fountain Is A Source of Wealth For Rome
If you don’t know what the Trevi Fountain is, then you have to do your research before visiting Rome. Trevi Fountain is one of the most popular monuments in the entire city, with millions of tourists visiting it every year.
Just like the name says, Trevi Fountain is a special fountain. But what’s so special about it? Well, according to old legends, those that want their wishes to come true visit the fountain and throw coins in it.
It is said that upwards of $3,500 worth of coins are being thrown in the fountain every single day. The city collects the coins and donates them to charities that help out people and kids in need.
Pinocchio Was Italian
Did you know Pinocchio was Italian? The character of the wooden boy, Carlo Caollogi, first published the tale in an Italian newspaper. Ever since the popularity of the wooden boy that liked to lie skyrocketed and it even attract the attention of Disney at one point.
And while we’re on the subject of Disney, did you know that Disney made the first Pinocchio film in 1940?
Super Mario Is Also Italian, Sorta
A lot of famous characters come from Italy, with the latest one of our list being Super Mario and his brother Luigi.
An Italian-American man is the source of inspiration for the mega-popular video game character published by Nintendo. But did you knew who this man was? It was none other than Nintendo’s landlord in Washington, Mario Segale.
Nintendo said that Mr. Segale was so unique that they had to create the character in his name. And while that makes Super Mario Italian-American, we are more than willing to give the title to the former country.
Italy Has the Most UNESCO Word Sites
Let’s get back to the real world and what better way to do that than with an unreal statistic.
Namely, Italy as a country accounts for 5% of all UNESCO world heritage sites. What this means is that Italy currently has 51 heritage sites protected by UNESCO, with more than 40 being up for consideration.
Some of the most popular ones are the Colosseum, the Botanical Garden, Pompei, the City of Verona, and dozens of others.
Whenever visiting these heritage sites, make sure to bring travel accessories as you’ll be there for a while.
Italy Has Active Volcanoes
Probably a scary fact rather than a fun one, but Italy has Europe’s only three active volcanoes.
This is undoubtedly something that Italians wouldn’t want, but the three volcanoes are all currently active with one of them, Mount Etna, even erupting back in 2018.
The other two are the Mount Stromboli volcano and Vesuvius.
It Has A Country Within It
Have you heard about the Vatican? If not, then the Vatican is the smallest country within a country. The Vatican city measures just over 100 acres, which is just around 1/8 of the size of NY”s Central Park.
But being that small doesn’t stop the Vatican from being a must-visit tourist destination within Italy.
The Flag Is Green, Red, and White
All three colors can be seen on dozens of other flags, but Italy is without a doubt the most famous country to carry them.
It is also said that the flag was inspired after the French, with only a few changes being made to it.
One of the Most Popular Tourist Destinations
Having 51 UNESCO world heritage sites sets you up nicely when it comes to attracting tourists to your country. And that’s exactly what Italy is.
According to statistics from the World Tourism Organization, Italy is the 5th most visited country by tourists in the world. That means that a huge percentage of its economy is all down to tourism. More than 62 million people visited Italy in 2019, and that accumulated for $59 billion in wealth.
Football Is the Country’s Main Sport
They don’t call it soccer in Italy, they call it football.
Italian teams are some of the most successful ones on the world stage. Juventus is the team with the most domestic titles, while AC Milan is the 2nd most decorative club in the Champions League.
Italians absolutely love football, with the Italian national team being one of the most decorated in the world. With 4 FIFA World Cups, 1 European Championship, and 1 Olympic Gold Medal, Italy is one of the big boys in the sport.
Columbus Was Italian
If you didn’t know by now then you should know Columbus was Italian, and not Spanish.
And while it was under the Spanish fleet that Columbus sailed, he is actually Genoese.
Pizza Was Invented In Naples
One of the most beautiful cities in Italy is Naples. But the beauty of Naples isn’t only the breathtaking scenery or magnificent buildings, it is the fact that Neapolitans invented the food we all know and love.
Who knows what could have been if that one person didn’t come up with this clever idea.
Italy Loves Wine
Not many people will say that pizza and wine go together, but a lot of people will say that Italians love both.
Italy is the world’s largest producer of Wine. The country produces more than 55,000 hectolitres of wine every single year. But producing such huge numbers does mean you have to sell some.
So, naturally, Italy exports the vast majority of its wines to both neighboring countries and the United States.
San Marino Is Yet Another Country Inside Italy
We weren’t entirely honest when we talked about Vatican City. Namely, San Marino is yet another country inside of Italy that is significantly bigger than the Vatican, 62 sq km, but still one of the world’s smallest countries.
San Marino has a population of merely 34,000 but is a country full of national pride. San Marino is also one of the richest countries in Europe and one with the lowest unemployment rate.
The Alps Separate Italy And Its Northern Neighbors
You might have heard of the Alps as they’re one of the world’s most famous mountain ranges. But the Alps are also a natural border that separates Italy with Switzerland, Austria, France, and Slovakia.