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Category Archives: Italy Fun Facts

Optical Illusions in Rome

The incredible city of Rome is a feast for your eyes, but can you always trust what you are seeing?  Here are some of very favorite optical illusions in Rome. Galleria Spada   In the Piazza Capo di Ferro, near the Piazza Farnese and Campo di Fiori is the Palazzo Spada which houses the private art collection of Bernardino Spada.  The real treasure, however is hidden in a quiet corner of the courtyard. Designed by Francesco Boromini, one of Rome’s most important Baroque architects. Find the amazing example of forced perspective that makes the length of the corridor look much longer than it actually is. Piazza San Pietro – Saint Peters Square The magnificent Basilica di San Pietro dominates the vast Piazza San Pietro. Under the patronage of Pope Alexander VII, who was behind many streets and buildings in Rome during his papacy in the mid 1600’s. He commissioned his good [...]

Italian Inventions

A real Neapolitan pizza is made with San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella cooked in a wood burning oven. Have you ever wondered what kinds of everyday things you use did Italians invent? The list of Italian inventions is a long one.  Here are Tour Italy Now’s picks for the top 10 Italian inventions. Wireless Communication.   You are reading this online right?  You can thank Guglielmo Marconi for that. In 1909 he and Karl Ferdinand Braun won the Nobel Prize in Physics for contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy.  In 1902 Marconi successfully sent the first transatlantic transmission from Canada to the United Kingdom.  This revolutionary technology was critical when the luxury ocean liner the Titanic sank and wireless communications were maintained for 72 hours during the rescue operations. Barometer and Thermometer Knowing what the weather will be like and what the temperature is on your Italian vacation [...]

Italy Do’s and Don’ts

Italy Do’s and Don’ts We want your trip to Italy to be relaxing and fun.  Here we will share 10 Italy do’s and don’ts to make sure you are always making a Bella Figura. Do make a good impression.  Bella Figura is a term that translates roughly to making a good impression. This means so much more than just dressing well, though that is important too.  It means saying hello when you enter a store, making sure your arms are covered when visiting a church and even having correct change when paying for your cup of coffee. Don’t order a cappuccino (or a latte) after a meal. Italians advise against drinking a cappuccino after a meal as they feel that milk after eating is a recipe for a stomach ache.  So skip the milk and have an espresso instead. A cafe macchiato, an espresso with a splash of milk is [...]

Limoncello Fun Facts Highlight Italy’s Popular Liqueur

If you’ve never tried limoncello, you should think about ordering a glass of this lemon digestivo the next time you’re eating in an Italian restaurant. It’s a wonderful way to top off a meal. Served chilled, limoncello clears the palette and warms the heart. Here are some of our favorite limoncello fun facts, from a variety of sources. 1. It is one of the most popular liqueurs in Italy. (Other popular liqueurs are sambuca, campari, amaretto.) 2. It is made from lemon zest, that is, the yellow exterior of the skin without the pith. The zest is steeped in grain alcohol until the oil is released. 3. Limoncello is produced primarily in southern Italy, often from the zest Sorrento lemons, which are also known as Femminello St. Teresa lemons. Locales of production include the Sorrentine Peninulsa and the Amalfi coast and the Gulf of Naples and in Procida, Ischia and [...]

Fun Facts About Italy – The Leaning Tower of Pisa

At Tour Italy Now we’re developing a series titled Fun Facts About Italy. Take some time to read these fascinating facts about some of Italy’s most famous attractions and you are sure to discover things you didn’t know before. You can file each list away until it’s time to start planning your next Italian vacation, then ask us how to turn your favorite facts about Italy into the customized tour of a lifetime! Today we bring you five fun facts about Pisa’s Leaning Tower, one of Italy’s most popular attractions. Did you know: 1. The Tower is actually a bell tower, and the bells are rung twice on Sundays. Keep that in mind if you are planning to go! 2. The Tower, along with the cathedral, baptistry and cemetery are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite its popularity, the site was closed to the public for over a decade between [...]

Italy Fun Fact: Italians Invented the Ice Cream Cone!

Given the epic heat wave scorching much of the U.S. this week, we at Tour Italy now thought it would be fun to bring you this Italy Fun Fact: Did you know that in Italians invented the ice cream cone? As with much culinary history, there is some debate as to the precise origins of the iconic and delicious ice cream cone, but the consensus among culinary historians is that Italian immigrants living in England in the 19th century were the first to make a rolled waffle exclusively for ice cream. Thus was born the ice cream cone! You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! In a cone! In their early years, in the mid-1800s, ice cream cones were referred to ice cream wafers, ice cream shells, ice cream cups, according to the website What’s Cooking In America. From the same source, we learn that the first [...]

Italy Fun Facts: Check Out Italy’s Top Products!

Fun fact for the Tour Italy Now community: Did you know that Italy is the world’s 8th largest exporter? Don’t groan, this is not a rehash of Econ 101. Ok maybe a tiny bit of Econ 101, but with an Italian twist. There is a lot of talk of austerity and crisis in Italy these days. In late 2011 Mario Monti, the current Prime Minister was appointed, not elected, to rescue the country from grave economic crisis. He billed his reform plan “Save Italy.” This plan introduced dramatic tax and pension reforms. We are now at the close of 2012 and Monti’s technocratic term is approaching an end. The term has been shortened slightly because of former three time elected Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s removal of his political support. The general consensus is that the difficult reforms that have been implemented are a step in the right direction, but it [...]