10 Random Facts About Italy
Italy is home to some of the finest inventions and foods in the world. Not only did this historic country bring us pizza and pianos, but it is full of so many crazy and interesting facts that many of us just don’t know. We’ve therefore picked a handful to help you brush up on your knowledge.
1. Vatican City
Vatican City is not a part of Italy. It is the smallest country in the world, and is encircled by a 2-mile border with Italy. It is an independent city-state that has an absolute monarchy, with the pope at its head. It is just 100 acres, and is therefore one-eighth of the size of Central Park in New York.
This small country mints its own Euros, issues passports and license plates, prints its own stamps and even has its own flag and national anthem. The country is funded by museum admission fees, souvenir and stamp sales, and contributions.
2. The Colosseum
Over 500,000 people lost their lives and over a million wild animals were killed in Rome’s Colosseum when it hosted the people vs. beast games.
It was considered a decadent act to vomit between meals in Ancient Rome. However, Seneca, a Roman philosopher condemned the act, whilst Julius Caesar was attacked by Cicero, a Roman orator, after expressing a desire to vomit after dinner. Nice!
Italy is the home of pasta, and the Italians just can’t get enough of the stuff, which is why they are believed to consume 60 pounds of pasta per person per year.
5. Gladiator Blood
Roman physicians in Ancient Rome would recommend the use of Gladiator blood to aid a variety of ailments, including infertility and epilepsy.
6. The Trevi Fountain
Most tourists head to the Trevi Fountain in the city of Rome to throw in a coin and make a wish. How much gets thrown into the fountain each year? It is thought to be nearly $700,000 – and the money is donated to Caritas to help those in need.
7. World’s Art
Italy has produced some of the world’s finest artists. Michelangelo, anyone? It is therefore probably not much of a surprise to learn that 60% of the world’s art treasure can be found in Italy.
8. The Colour Purple
Purple clothing was status colour in Ancient Rome, and could only be worn by emperors and senators. It was an act of treason for anyone not of the status to dress completely in purple.
Want to put the size of Italy and the United States into perspective? Italy is slightly larger than Arizona, a state in the southwestern region of the United States.
Pizza was invented in Naples, Italy, in the 1860s, and is one of the few words that is understood across the world.
Want to learn more about other countries? Take a look at 10 Scotland Facts You Should Know.