1. Italy has three active volcanoes: Vesuvius, Etna, and Stromboli.
2. Italy is often called the Bel Paese, which mean beautiful country.
3. Italy is home to the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites – more than 40.
4. Italy has 20 regions and 6 islands.
5. Italy speaks a national language, which was based on the Tuscan dialect, but each region still speaks its own dialect.
6. The Vatican is a separate sovereign nation, its own country.
7. Italy is slightly larger than Arizona.
8. The thermometer is an Italian invention.
9. The piano hails from Italy.
10. With almost 40 million visitors, Italy is the fourth most visited country in the world.
11. The average Italian consumes 26 gallons of wine a year.
12. The typewriter is an Italian invention.
13. Italy did not become a united country until 1861.
14. The Italian Wolf is considered the national animal of Italy.
15. Italy has over 3,000 museums.
16. The national sport of Italy is soccer (known as football outside of America).
17. Italy’s national dish is pasta.
18. Napoleon spent his first exile on the Italian island of Elba.
19. The vespa scooter was invented in Italy in 1946.
20. Italy has the most hotel rooms of any European nation.
21. Everyday 3,000€ gets tossed into the Trevi Fountain.
22. Italy’s national flower is the Lily.
23. Sixty percent of the world’s art treasures are in Italy.
24. Opera was created in Italy.
25. Bubonic Plague killed one-third of the Italian population in the 14th century.
26. Italy has won the World Cup four times.
27. The average consumption of pasta in Italy is 25 kg per person per year.
28. The violin and the cello were both invented in Italy.
29. Italian pizza originated in Naples during the 18th century.
30. Italy holds the Guiness record for having the most elevators.
31. The national bird of Italy is Bluebird.
32. Italy is famous for its sports cars like Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Lamborghini.
33. The oldest European university in continuous operation is the University of Bologna, founded in 1088.
34. Italians invented optical eye glasses.
35. Italy has been making wines for over 2800 years.
36. The oldest film festival in the world, beginning in 1932, is the Venice Film Festival.
37. Italy has more famous fashion designers than any other country.
38. Many of Shakespeare’s plays were set in Italy, including Romeo and Juliet from Verona.
39. Carabinieri uniforms are designed by Valentino.
40. The highest point in Italy is Mont Blanc, in the alps at 15,770 feet.
41. The longest river in Italy is the Po.
42. Italy is the largest wine-producing country in the world.
43. Italy has hosted the Olympic Games three times.
44. The patron saint of Italy is Saint Francis of Assisi.
45. The national Italian airline is called Alitalia.
46. The largest white truffle in a half century weighing over 3 pounds,was unearthed near Pisa, Italy.
47. Italy is home to some of the world’s greatest composers, like Vivaldi, Rossini, Verdi and Puccini.
48. The espresso machine was invented in Italy.
49. Venice has over 400 footbridges.
50. The oldest olive tree in Italy, in Umbria is reportedly over 1700 yrs old.
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