Italy, officially called the Italian Republic, is a boot shaped country in the European Union that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea. It shares open borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, and Vatican City, and it is the 4th most populous state in the European Union with over 61 million inhabitants. Majority of Italy has a Mediterranean climate which has hot, dry summers and cool, rainy winters.
Italian is the main language spoken in Italy, however, there are 34 individual languages being spoken throughout the country.
- The area around Venice is the wealthiest region in Europe.
- Italy is the home of inventions such as the typewriter, thermometer, piano, eyeglasses and even ice cream cones. The popular food pizza was “invented” in Naples around the 1860s and is one of the few words that is understood all around the world.
- Italy has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
- The first paved streets in the world were made in Rome in 170 B.C.
- During the late 60s and into the 50s BC, Roman emperor Julius Caesar banned all wheeled vehicles from Rome during daylight hours because of heavy traffic congestion.
- Around €3000 of change is thrown in the Trevi Fountain in Rome daily. It is collected and donated to charity.
- Italy has many earthquakes and volcanoes due to the conflict between the Eurasian and African tectonic plates. It has three active volcanoes: Etna, Stromboli, and Vesuvius.
- The thermometer was invented by an Italian named Santorio Santorio in 1612.
- Italy birthed the Renaissance movement, a golden age of culture and art from the 14th to the 16th century. Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael and Leonardo Da Vinci are just some of the great minds who contributed to the Italian Renaissance.