Interesting Facts About Italy & Italians

What is special to Italy?

Interesting facts about Italy and Italians for adults and kids: traditions and customs of the country. What have been invented in Italy, ingrained superstitions, festivals and holidays. What Italians believe in, what they wear, prefer to give, like to do, afraid of? Why, according to Italian tradition, they like to wear black here, do not give up siesta and honor the family treasures – have studied good Time for Trip.

Italy is a European country, well developed technically and excellent – in the cultural sense. But it has a number of curious features and scrupulously observed traditions that make it distinctly different from others.

That is, a pretty unusual and original territory, which foreign tourists like to visit so much. It seems they are going just to see some Rome attractions or take a walk around Milan, but bringing back a lot of vivid impressions?!

Sometimes travelers are being disappointed – some of the traditions of Italy can create serious problems for Germans and Englishmen who are accustomed to order. Or, vice versa, for Americans who don’t pay much attention to the rules.

The most ordinary, everyday reality in Italy is replete with interesting things. Although, of course, not as many as, for example, it has in exotic countries in Asia or Africa

To minimize the risks, bring from Italy some cute souvenirs and also recharge yourself with positive emotions, read our article carefully! As it will surely help you understand what are the main Italian habits, how are they think and live. As this is a relaxed, sincere and emotional nation, not too responsible, but very open, joyful!

Interestingly that Italy

is often referred to as the “Cradle of Western Civilization” due to its significance in the development of the Roman Empire, and the humanity as a whole.

Also Italy is known all over the world for its achievements in art. The Renaissance, a period of great cultural value, was born here. Such outstanding artists as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael were Italians.

The Saint Peter's Square is one of the most interesting places in Italy

Located within the capital of Italy, Rome, the Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world. And at the same time, the place where a binch of great attractions are located: from the largest Catholic church in Europe, St. Peter’s Basilica to the Apostolic Palace and the Sistine Chapel.

The main historical and perhaps most interested sight of Rome and Italy as a whole is the Colosseum, an ancient amphitheater built around 70-80 AD. It held between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, was once used for gladiatorial fights and public spectacles and then became a source of building material for the city.

Religion

Italy is a predominantly Catholic country, where many active churches have been preserved. The number of temples per capita here is so great that no other country in the world can compete with it.

At the same time, surprisingly, in some giant Italian churches you will see just single visitors inside.

Those who visit main attractions of Siena will probably be amazed at how few visitors there are in the Basilica of San Domenico

Also there are always quite few people inside San Giorgio Maggiore, the big church on the island of the same name belonging to the top sights of Venice.

At the same time, of course, we can’t deny this immutable but interesting fact that main cathedrals in Italy are never empty. For example, if you come to Rome even in February, you will be visiting the largest Catholic church in the world, St. Peter’s Basilica, in a big crowd.

Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence is not vacant at any time of the year – we even will not talk about how many visitors receives annually Duomo of Milan. You will be amazed at how is crowded in St. Mark’s Basilica even if you travel to Venice during the winter months.

Sience

The first European university was founded in 1088 in Bologna, Italy. It works to this day, being considered one of the most prestigious educational institutions in Europe and the world. But, of course, this is not the only place you must to visit in Bologna.

Italian is closer to Latin than any other language in the world. The local alphabet consists of 21 characters, and there are no such letters as: J, K, W, X, Y in it.

Inventions

Italy is perhaps the birthplace of the ice cream. The recipe was supposedly brought to his homeland by the Venetian Marco Polo, returned from his journey to China.

Moreover – it is a well-known fact that the first waffle cone appeared in the USA, in New York, in 1896. But it was invented by an Italian immigrant – idfa.org/the-history-of-the-ice-cream-cone.

What are 10 interesting facts about Italy?

Ballet is an Italian invention also. The Florentine Catherine de’ Medici, wife of King Henry II, made it popular in France. And since then, the ballet began its march around the world.

Another interesting fact – in Italy was invented the piano. It was done in 1700 by Bartolomeo Cristofori, who was invited to the court of the Tuscan dukes – metmuseum.org/toah/hd/cris/hd_cris.htm.

Italy was the country that has given the world other musical instruments: guitar, violin and organ

The Italian word “tifosi” – passionate football fan – comes from “tifoso”.
Which literally means “typhoid patient”. The clubs Roma and Lazio, Atalanta and Napoli have the hottest tifosi.

Volcanoes and Earthquakes

There are no countries in Europe with as many active volcanoes as Italy. Etna in Sicily and Vesuvius near Naples, which destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, are known to everyone from school.

The Stromboli volcano on the Lipari archipelago north of Sicily is distinguished by ideal conical shape

Italians suffer from earthquakes more than any other European nation. The strongest earthquake in Italy in modern history occurred in January, 1693, in Sicily – it destroyed all the towns on the east coast of the island, killing about 60 000 people.

However, in the process of their restoration, a recognizable and ornate Sicilian Baroque style emerged – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicilian_Baroque. The architectural masterpieces created at that time now was among the main attractions of Sicily.

The last major earthquake in Italy occurred on January 18, 2017 – it caused an avalanche that smashed a hotel with 24 skiers. On August 24, 2016, an earthquake in Abruzzo ruined the ancient towns Amatrice and Norcia and killed about 300 people.

Customs in Italy

While greeting Italians say “buongiorno”, which means “good afternoon”. When meeting acquaintances and friends, close people, as well as in the youth environment, the word “ciao” or “hello” is more often used.

What is unique in Italy?

“Good evening” in Italian is “buonasera”. When saying “goodbye”, it is customary to say “arriverderci”. Or, in case of separation from acquaintances, – the same “ciao”.

Being late for a meeting is usually not considered a misdemeanor here: an Italian can arrive 15-20 minutes after the appointed time. In the northern regions of the country, however, it’s better to be punctual.

Don’t be surprised by the pronounced emotionality of Italians, their fast and loud speech, violent gestures. In Italy it is not just a tradition, but a way of life

Your appearance is very important in the first meeting. At the same time, the clothes doesn’t have to be expensive and fashionable – to win the respect of an Italian, you should look neat and, if possible, stylish.

Black is still the dominant color in women’s clothing here. And this is suitable for Italians: there are many slender young ladies here, very few ones are overweight. Although it would seem that with those pastas and pizzas, everything should be the other way around.

Food and Alcohol

Pasta for every taste, and pizza are the most famous Italian dishes, the first thing to try foreigners in Italy. However, this should not be done everywhere.

Pretentious and expensive restaurants in the tourist places often serve average-tasting dishes – it is believed that a foreigners will eat anything. But frozen pizza bought at the supermarket, on the contrary, can be excellent!

If you are visiting small towns, be sure to try the dishes in a cafe or tavern on one of the side streets, where the locals eat. With a high probability, the pasta there will be stretched by hand, and the pizza dough is prepared by themselves according to their grandfather’s recipes

If you give wine to Italians you know, don’t skimp and buy a good one like aged Chianti or Valpolicella, Barolo. If you really appreciate of a person, you can also give him a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino, the most expensive Italian wine.

In general, wine prices in Italy are not off the scale: for 7-10 euros you will buy a bottle of a very decent drink in terms of organoleptic properties.

You can also bring home stronger alcohol from Italy. After all, original Grappa and Limoncello, Amaretto are produced only in this country.

A list of the most iconic foods to eat in Italy wouldn't be complete without the humble pizza

Superstitions

In Italy, it is not customary to give yellow flowers to someone, because they symbolize envy. Wrapping gifts in purple paper is considered to be bad luck.

The number 17 in Italy is traditionally considered unlucky. It’s the same as 13 in the United States and most other European countries.

Traditions in Italy

Family is a fundamental value in this European state. And it does not mean just a “cell of society” of mom, dad and children! On the contrary – a family here is a broad concept including uncles and aunts, cousins and cousins, grandfathers and grandmothers. Large family gatherings on the weekends are a well-established Italian tradition.

Children often live with their parents even after being of 25-30, even if they have a job and a considerable income. And it doesn’t seem strange and unusual, as, for example, in the USA

A significant number of large national corporations are still controlled by individual families. The car giant Fiat hails from Turin, Ferrari was founded in 1940 in Modena, the Benetton concern is closely linked to Treviso.

In Italy, as in Spain, there is a

Siesta

– in the middle of the day, it is customary to arrange a rest here. Because in the summer heat, when the air temperature rises to +35-40 ° C all over the country, it is simply impossible to work productively.

It should be borne in mind that from 12.30 to 15.30, sometimes up to 16-17 hours, many cafes and restaurants, banks and even churches may not work. Thus, the tourist risks being hungry and losing the opportunity to visit some attractions

So if you are going to have lunch in Italy in the middle of the day, you may simply not find an open cafe. In resort and large cities in the north of the country, not everyone adheres to this tradition. But in the provinces and in the south of Italy, it is in use.

There are also problems with toilets in Italy – even in large cities there are few of them. And even those that are – expensive! Sometimes you need to pay up to 1.5-2 € for visiting such an institution.

One of an

Unusual Tradition

in Italy is throwing out of windows on New Year’s Eve some old things. This action symbolizes that you are not just throwing away old and useless things, but also getting rid of the evil accumulated over the year

However, do not be afraid to walk under the windows along the narrow streets of towns like San Gimignano – this habit is no longer in use in Italy today!

Holidays

The February Carnival in Venice is the most famous such event in Europe. The tradition originated in the XIII century. The holiday is held annually in February and ends by the beginning of Lent, that is, 40 days before Catholic Easter.

What is Italy's most famous thing?

The schedule of events and parades is known long before the start of the festival and is published on the official website – carnevale.venezia.it.

The carnival, which is held at the large resort Viareggio in Tuscany, is very colorful.
The holiday is held annually in late January – early March, and their main events take place on Saturdays and Sundays.

For more than 600 years carnival has been held in Putignano (Puglia). And this is the longest and oldest event of its kind in Italy.

The Carnival of Putignano starts right after Christmas in the end of December and ends in February before Fat Thursday

Carnival and orange battle are held annually in the town of Ivrea in Piedmont. Festive events in Ivrea begin back in January shortly after Epiphany Eve, which replaces the Three Magi Kings here.

© Goodtimefortrip.com

About STen 185 Articles
Traveling is like a life: the further you go, the more understand. I am not a writer or a journalist, but believe that my real & reach experience gained on trips can be useful. The whole Europe and Turkey are enough for me so far... Spent a lot of time in Turkey, lived in Italy and Spain, visited France and the Czech Republic, Greece and Hungary, now I am exploring Montenegro)

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