Are you looking for facts about Italy? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here are 25 Interesting Italy Facts, and further down you can also read some more general facts about Italy that might be good to know!
To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you. How many of these Italy facts did you already know before reading this? Share your result in the comment section! Or why not challenge some Italian friends?
1. In central Italy, there is a fountain that flows red wine 24-hours a day
If you’re a wine lover like me, you will be happy to hear that there’s a free 24/7 fountain with red wine in Central Italy! The fountain can be found in Caldari di Ortona. Anybody can drink from the wine fountain, but it is primarily to quench the thirst of those taking the Camino di San Tommaso pilgrimage.
Not a bad reward after a long hike!
2. The Italian cuisine is spread worldwide
Some even go as far as saying that Italians taught the rest of us in Europe to cook food, and I guess in some ways it’s true. Italian food is widespread across the world, but even more so in Europe and the United States.
3. Home to one of the oldest universities in the world
Education has also been a central part of the Italian culture and society. And they can pride themselves on being home to one of the oldest universities in the world. The University of Bologna was founded somewhere around the year 1000 and is still a highly regarded university thousand years later.
Officially it is said that the university was founded in 1088.
4. Diverse nature and landscapes
Not many countries can pride themselves on having snowcapped alps, beautiful lakes, sunny beaches, lush vineyards, mountains, islands, and a fantastic coastline. One of my favorite places is Lago di Braies, which is a picturesque lake in the Dolomites region.
Italy has something for everyone, and just in a couple of days driving around the country, one can experience lots of different sceneries.
5. Italy is the fifth most populous country in Europe
With almost 61 million inhabitants in total, Italy comes in at fifth place in terms of population in Europe. However, when it comes to Land Area, it’s only the 10th biggest country in Europe.
6. More than 30% of Italians don’t use the internet
Of course, this is mostly true for the older generations, and it’s a phenomenon that can be seen in various countries, but more than 30% is quite remarkable in the age of the digital era. A study in 2017, showed that up to 40% didn’t use the internet.
However, for the ages between 14-34, more than 92% stated that they use the internet daily.
7. Italy has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites
No less than 50 UNESCO World Heritage sites are waiting to be explored and admired within Italy’s borders.
Colosseum might be one of the most classic ones, but some other notable ones include Duomo di Milano, Historic Center of Florence, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pompei, City of Verona, Venice and the Dolomites just to mention a few.
8. The biggest gender gap for house chores
A lot of households in Italy are fairly traditional, with the woman doing most of the housework. A study showed that Italian women do 21 hours more per week than men when it comes to house chores.
There’s a positive trend though, and just as in many other countries, gender equality becomes a more important matter.
9. Many Italian brands are famous worldwide
Recognize these brands? Ferrari, Barilla, Gucci, Prada, Armani, Versace, Lamborghini, Fiat, Ducati, and Nutella just to mention a few.
These are all Italian brands that are widely available around the world.
10. The Largest producer of Wine
The #1 position continues to change between Italy and Spain depending on the harvest and weather. But one thing is sure, there is no shortage of wine in Italy, and it comes in several varieties and price ranges.
11. Milano is one of the Fashion capitals of the world
Some even claim that Milano is THE fashion capital of the world, but with competition from London, New York, and Tokyo and others, I think it’s better to say that it’s absolutely one of the Fashion capitals of the world.
And Milan’s importance in the fashion industry is unquestionable. Italians are pretty much known for having style and great clothes in general, and from my own experience, I will say it’s true in many cases.
12. The tomato wasn’t introduced in Italy until the 1540’s
Today it might be hard to believe that tomatoes aren’t originally from Italy, but in fact, it wasn’t until the Columbian Exchange that tomatoes found their way here. There’s something special about the sun-kissed Italian tomatoes, though.
I have never tried better tomatoes than the ones in Italy, I could even eat them as snacks. However, The biggest producer of tomatoes is China by far with about 44% of the total produce.
13. More than 50 million tourists visit Italy each year
With beautiful places such as Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast as well as the historic cities, it should come as no surprise that this country attracts millions of visitors each year.
14. Number 17 is considered unlucky in Italy
This is also why some of the hotels in the country do not have a 17th floor. Number 13 isn’t really considered to be unlucky, unless you sit 13 people together at the dinner table, in reference to the “The Last Supper”.
15. Italians eat pasta only with a fork, and no spoon
In many countries, including Sweden, it’s common to eat Pasta with a fork and a spoon. Normally, you kind of twirl the pasta in the spoon in order to shape it around the fork. This is not something you will see in Italian homes or among locals in restaurants – they eat their pasta only with a fork.
The fork was actually introduced in Italy first, way before other places in Europe, and the reason for this was in order to make it easier for Italians to eat their beloved Pasta. One of the many interesting facts about Italy!
5 x Fun Facts about Italy
- Italian Traffic Police has two Lamborghini Gallardo in service
- A cat inherited US$13 million from its owner, which makes it the richest cat in the world
- Italian artist Piero Manzoni filled 90 tin cans with his feces, called it “Artist’s sh*t” and sold them for up to €124,000 a tin
- In 2012, a court in Italy ruled that telling a man he has “no balls” is a crime, punishable with a fine
- In Italy, the same voice actor will follow an American actor throughout their filmography and career
5 x Italy Facts for Kids
- The Italian wolf is Italy’s unofficial national animal
- Italians are highly educated. More than 99% can write and read
- The Italian brown bear is an endangered species but can still be seen in the Abruzzo National Park.
- Leonardo da Vinci was Italian. So were Christopher Columbus, Galileo and Dante Alighieri.
- The biggest holiday in Italy is Christmas. Building the nativity crib scene is an important part of the celebrations
Random facts about Italy and the Italians
- More than a third of single Italian men between the ages of 30 and 35 live with their parents
- 500,000 Italians visit an exorcist every year
- The airport in Genoa limits liquids on a plane to about 3 ounces. But they’ve made an exception for pesto sauce, which is a Genoa specialty. There’s a specially designated pesto scanner.
- There are about 17,222,400 Italian Americans living in the US
- 25 million or 62.5% of Argentina’s population has at least one Italian immigrant ancestor
General Facts about Italy
Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Italy that might be interesting to know.
- Total Population: 60.6 million
- Capital: Rome
- Life expectancy: 83,49 years.
- Highest Mountain: Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) – 4 810 meters above the sea
- Land area: 301,340 km2 (116,350 square miles)
- Largest Lake: Lago Benaco
- National Day: 2 June.
- Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
- Prime Minister: Giuseppe Conte
- Currency: Euro
- Official language: Italian
- Religion: 74.4% Roman Catholic
- Official Website: www.italia.it
- Member of Nato: Yes
- Member of EU: Yes
- National song: Il Canto Degli Italiani
- Time zone: CET +1, CEST +2
- Country Number/Prefix: +39
- Country Code: IT
The Biggest Cities in Italy
If you’re looking for facts about Italy, it might also be interesting to know which are the biggest cities. Here’s a list of the top 10 biggest Italian cities ranked after population.
The Italian Flag
Map of Italy
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I really love Italy and would love to explore more places in the country. And the Italians are lovely as well. The food is simply delicious and I wouldn’t mind eating Italian food for the rest of my life!
So far I’ve traveled to Genoa, Milano, Napoli, Cinque Terre, Amalfi, Rome, Florence, Tuscany and many more.
How many of these Italy Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!