Italy is famous throughout the world for its history, its art, its culture, its music and its contribution to world cuisine. But what else do we know about it?
Here are a few lesser known facts about this fascinating nation:
- The average Italian family has 1.27 children.
- The Italian flag is inspired by the French tricolore introduced by Napoleon’s invasion in 1797.
- Two independent nations reside wholly within Italy’s borders – San Marino and the Vatican City.
- The modern Italian language has its origins in a region of Tuscany.
- The Italian contribution to science includes the electric battery, the barometer, nitro-glycerine and wireless telegraphy.
- The name of the electronic unit of measurement “volt” derives from Alessandro Volta, who invented the first battery in 1779.
- The Italians invented the piano.
- The average Italian consumes 26 gallons of wine per year and half a pound of bread each day.
- Italy is the fourth most visited country in the world, with over 40 million visitors each year.
- Twelve of William Shakespeare’s plays were based, in whole or in part, in Italy. They are Romeo and Juliet, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Cymbeline, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, Antony and Cleopatra, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Winter’s Tale and Julius Caesar.
- Despite its German-sounding name, Cologne originated in Italy.
- The age of the average Italian is 41.
- Italy has the highest number of cultural sites recognized by UNESCO World Heritage.
- Italy has three active volcanoes – Vesuvius, Etna, and Stromboli.
- Family recreational activities in small villages include taking the traditional Sunday passeggiata (a family stroll).
- The three colours of the Italian flag represent the three virtues – hope (green), faith (white), and charity (red).
- Before Rome became a republic and an empire, it had seven kings.
- “Ars longa, vita brevis” is a common saying in Italy. Literally translated it means “art is long, life is short”.
- Whilst the official language is Italian, French and German are also spoken in some regions.
- Of all the Italian restaurants in Clapham, Eco Restaurant is demonstrably the most committed to providing healthy and nutritious options on its menu and eco-friendly solutions to waste disposal.
Captivating though all these facts are, you will only need to remember one of them when planning your next meal out in London.