25 Awesome And Quirky Facts About Italy

Posted by , Updated on November 15, 2022

Buongiorno ragazzi (Good morning guys). I’m sure most of you are itching to visit Italy (if you haven’t already). After all, Italy is known for its beautiful cities, rich culture, exquisite food, and wine…lots of it. But aside from the obvious, Italy is a very interesting place and today we’re going to show you some of the lesser known and more interesting aspects of life in the land of pizza and gondolas. These are 25 awesome and quirky facts about Italy.


The mafia accounts for 7% of Italy's GDP

mafiaSource: telegraph.co.uk, Image: wikipedia

In spite of that (or maybe because of it?), it has the 8th largest economy in the world

economySource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The Italian traffic police have been known to use Lamborghini Gallardos

Lamborghini GallardosSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

In Venice, all the gondolas are legally required to be painted black

gondolaSource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay

On the topic of legal requirements, apparently in Milan you are obligated to constantly smile...by law. As for whether anyone actually cares, well that's another topic

smileSource: dailymail.co.uk, Image: wikipedia

In Italy, pepperoni refers to bell peppers. There is no Italian sausage that goes by that name

peppersSource: nytimes.com, Image: wikipedia

Tomatoes actually came from America and weren't introduced to Italy until the 1500s

tomatoesSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Founded in 1088, the University of Bologna is the oldest university in the world that is still in operation

University of BolognaSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

There is a tower rising out of Lake Reschensee which is the only remaining vestige of a completely submerged village

Lake ReschenseeSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The Grotta Palazzese is actually built right into a grotto

Grotta PalazzeseSource: dailymail.co.uk, Image: tumblr.com

In Italy, football (soccer) fans are called "tifosi" which means "carrier of typhus" because their fanaticism is like a fever

Italian football fansSource: swdld.com, Image: wikipedia

Italy has more UNESCO world heritage sites than any other country with 50

colloseumSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Italy is the largest producer of wine in the world

wineSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Founded in 301 AD, San Marino is the world's oldest republic and it is completely surrounded by Italy

San MarinoSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

San Marino also holds the world's oldest constitution written in 1600

San Marino founderSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

WhatsApp has been cited in nearly 50% of Italian divorce proceedings

WhatsAppSource: globalpost.com, Image: wikipedia

The original Christ of the Abyss is located just off the coast of the Italian Riviera

Christ of the AbyssSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Galileo's fingers are on display at a museum in Florence

GalileoSource: dailymail.co.uk, Image: wikipedia

"Ferrari" as a last name is basically the Italian equivalent of "Smith"

FerrariSource: genealogy.about.com, Image: wikipedia

It is illegal to die in Falciano del Massico because the town's cemetery is full

what?Source: huffingtonpost.com, Image: wikipedia

The Vatican City, another country contained entirely within Italy, is the only nation that can lock its gates at night

Vatican CitySource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

With 150,000 students, the University of Rome is Europe's largest university

RomeSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Single children typically live at home even until their 30s

Italian homeSource: randomhistory.com, Image: wikipedia

Italy has three active volcanoes: Vesuvius, Etna, and Stromboli

VesuviusSource: lifeinitaly.com, Image: wikipedia

Italy introduced Europe to ice cream via the Chinese

ice creamSource: randomhistory.com, Image: wikipedia

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