Tuesday, December 11, 2012

77 fun facts about Italy

I bumped into this website (www.lifeinitaly.com) that had a list of fun facts about Italy. I thought I would share some with our friends. Enjoy!

1. Rome is further North than New York City. New York City is about the same latitude as Naples, Italy. In Rome and Naples, it only snows briefly once every several years while in New York snow is very frequent in the Winter
2. Pizza was "invented" in Naples around 1860s
3. Italy is slightly larger than Arizona
4. Italy holds the world record for having the most elevators
5. Every day 3000 euros is tossed into the Trevi Fountain
6. The average Italian family has 1.27 children.
7The Italian flag is inspired by the French flag introduced during Napoleon's 1797 invasion of the peninsula.
8. The average Italian makes $26,700 a year, however those in the more prosperous north make almost $40,000.
9. The thermometer is an Italian invention.
10. Italy's unemployment rate is around 8.6%, but it is as high as 20% in the more impoverished south.
11. Italian farms produce grapes, potatoes, sugar beets, soybeans, grain, olives, beef, and dairy
12. The name of Electricity measurement Volt comes from Alessandro Volta who invented the first battery in 1779
13. The average life expectancy at birth for an Italian is 79.54 years.
14. The piano hails from Italy
15. The average Italian consumes half a pound of bread a day
16. Italy's contributions to science include the barometer, electric battery, nitroglycerin, and wireless telegraphy.
17. Famous Italian explorers include Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo  and Amerigo Vespucci.
18. Today's modern Italian language originated in the region of Tuscany.
19. 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.
20. With almost 40 million visitors, Italy is the fourth most visited country in the world.
21. Italy is home to two microstates, San Marino and Vatican City .
22. Cologne came out of Italy.
23. The ice cream cone is an Italian invention.
24. Mt. Vesuvius last erupted in 1944, destroying a number of neighboring villages and the city of Pompeii.
25. Eyeglasses are an Italian invention.
26. The average Italian is 41 years old.
27. The average Italian consumes 26 gallons of wine a year.
28. Italy's major industries include tourism, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, food processing, textiles, motor vehicles, clothing, footwear, and ceramics.
29. Italy has more hotel rooms than any other nation in Europe.
30. The espresso machine hails from Italy.
31. Italy is the world's seventh largest industrial economy.
32. Barely a third of Italy's land is arable and suitable for farming.
33. The telephone was created by an Italian Meucci 
34. Since the end of WWII, Italy has seen almost 60 governments come and go.
35. The area around Venice is one of the wealthiest region in Europe
36. Over 75% of Italy is mountainous or hilly.
37. The typewriter is an Italian invention.
38. Italians used to be known for having large families, however Italy is now known for having Europe's lowest birthrate.
39. Most unmarried children live with their parents
40. The average Italian consumes 25 kilograms of pasta a year.
41. The Jewish Ghetto in Rome is now one of the most expensive real estate area in the city
42. Rome- over 5 million people
43. Italy has a population of over 58 million.
44. Italians refer to their country as Italia.
45. Italy imports over 75% of its energy.
46. The service sector accounts for almost 70% of the Italian economy.
47. The Seven Hills of Rome are Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal, and Viminal.
48. The symbol SPQR can be found on many ancient buildings in Rome. It stands for "the senate and people of Rome."
49. Rome was founded in 753 BC.
50. Italy did not become a united country until 1861
51. Every kid between the ages of 6-14 go to mandatory school. More than 90 percent of them attend public schools considered better for learning than private schools.
52. Before Rome became a republic and an empire, it had seven kings.
53. The first king of Rome was its legendary founder, Romulus.
54. "Ars longa, vita brevis" is a common saying in Italy. It means "art is long, life is short" and reflects the Italian love of leisure.
55. An engineering marvel of the ancient world, Cloacus Maxima, is the sewer of Rome.
56. The first Roman Emperor was Augustus Octavian, who came to power in 27 BC.
57. The Roman Empire fell in 476 AD, after its last emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was forced to abdicate by barbarian invaders.
58. A Roman Legion was made up of 6,000 men.
59. Italy's current constitution took effect January 1, 1948
60. The president of Italy is a ceremonial figure.
61. The prime minister serves as the head of government and is the one who runs the country.
62. Since October 1946, the national anthem of Italy has been Inno de Memeli .
63. Family recreational activities in small villages include taking a traditional Sunday passeggiata (family stroll)
64. The colors of the Italian flag represent three virtues: hope (green), faith (white), and charity (red).
65. The Italian Republic does not have an official motto, but it does have a common phrase: "L'Italia e' una Repubblica democratica, fondata sul lavoro" (Italy is a democratic Republic, founded on labor).
66. Italy has over 3,000 museums.
67. The national sport of Italy is soccer (known as football outside of America).
68. The Italian language evolved from the Latin of the Roman Empire.
69. The Italian peninsula is surrounded by five seas (the Adriatic, Ionian, Tyrrhenean, Ligurian, and Mediterranean).
70. The Italian island of Sicily is famous for being home of the illicit Maffia criminal organization.
71. Napoleon spent his first exile on the Italian island of Elba.
72. The Alps mountain range form part of Italy's northern border, and for a long time, protected the peninsula from invasion.
73. Italy has three active volcanoes: Vesuvius, Etna, and Stromboli.
74. Milan is home to Italian fashion and finance.
75. Rome's nickname is "The Eternal City."
76. Around 1284 in Italy, Salvino D'Armate was credited with inventing the first wearable eye glasses
77. Italy has the highest number of cultural sites recognized by UNESCO world Heritage

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