Italy is a country in Southern Europe that is shaped like a boot and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. The countries of France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, and Vatican City all border Italy and the capital of the country is Rome. Many people may be a little confused at Vatican City being listed above as a country, but it has been designated as its very own country, mostly because of its importance.
The city of Rome was founded in 753 B.C. and was ruled by a monarchial system for 244 years. The city then went to an oligarchic republic and Emperors ruled the area.
There are fourteen different volcanoes in Italy and four of them are active. Etna, Stromboli, Vulcano, and Vesuvius are the four active ones and Vesuvius is the one that destroyed the city of Pompeii in 79 A.D. There are more than 57,000 animal species that live in Italy and 6,759 types of flowers and plants. The climate in Italy is very diverse and each area will find that their weather is different than the other regions in the country.
Italy has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites with fifty-one and there are also multiple collections of art and literature from many different time periods. While Italian is the main language, there are also twelve minority languages that people speak there.
Interesting and Unique Facts about Italy:
· Every day, people throw €3000 worth of change into the Trevi Fountain – the money is then collected and donated to charity
· Most of Shakespeare’s plays took place in Italy
· Pizza was created in Naples back in 1860
· The story of Pinocchio was first printed in an Italian newspaper
· Quite a few cheeses were created in Italy – Parmesan, gorgonzola, mozzarella, provolone, and ricotta
· Vatican City is the only country in the world that can lock its gates at night
· There are 280 fountains in Rome
· Rome also has more than 900 churches
· The city of Rome is known as the Eternal City
· Back in Roman times, husbands kissed their wives at the end of the day to see if they had been sitting around drinking wine all day
· The first shopping mall was built in Rome between 107 and 100 A.D.
· The twelve-month calendar was introduced by Julius Caesar
· Fifty million people visit Italy every year
· It was common for Jews to hide in ancient catacombs during World War II when they were being sought for persecution
Most people visit Italy to eat delicious Italian food and drink exceptional wines at the numerous vineyards that line the countryside. The history of the country has also been very well preserved, so people are able to feel like they are stepping back in time as they are visiting places like the Colosseum and the city of Pompeii.