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25 Fun Facts About Italy

Here’s a list of interesting, educational, and fun facts about Italy and her friendly people that you may not already know:

1. Italy is only slightly larger than the state of Arizona
2. Italy’s population is about 58 million
3. About one-fifth of Italy’s population is over the age of 65
4. The average life expectancy of an Italian is 79.54 years, slightly higher than the U.S.’s 78.2 year average
5. Pizza was invented in Naples
6. The average Italian loves his bread! They eat about a half-pound a day!
7. The average Italian consumes 26 gallons of wine each year
8. Italy is the fourth most-visited country in the world, with about 5 million visitors annually
9. Italy has more hotel rooms than any other country in Europe
10. More than 75 percent of Italy is classified as either hilly or mountainous
11. Italy did not become a “united” country until 1861
12. Ice cream cones were invented in Italy, and so were eyeglasses!
13. Italy has more masterpieces per square mile than any other country, reflecting the country’s love for great art
14. The wolf is Italy’s unofficial national animal
15. The University of Rome is the largest in Europe, enrolling about 150,000 students at any given time
16. Italians suffer and have suffered more earthquakes than any other country’s people
17. The most common Italian surname is Russo
18. Each night, most Italians take a pre-dinner stroll known as a passeggiata
19. About 85 percent of Italians are Roman Catholic
20. In Italy, soccer fans are known as tifosi, carriers of typhus, due to their rowdy behavior
21. Italy boasts the world’s longest land tunnel, the 22-mile-long Lötschberg Base Tunnel, a railway link between Italy and Switzerland
22. Italians must be 18 years old to vote for the lower house of the parliament but cannot vote for the upper house – the Senate – until they are 25
23. The world’s first operas were composed in Italy and the country is still considered the opera capital of the world
24. There are two independent states that sit within Italy’s borders: San Marino and Vatican City
25. Everyday, about 3,000 Euro are tossed into Rome’s famed Trevi Fountain. The money is used to subsidize a market for Rome’s needy.

The more you understand about Italy before starting your trip, the more you will find yourself becoming truly immersed in your surroundings when you land in Italy.

Learn some more Italy Fun Facts!