10 Interesting Facts about Italy

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Italy is a beautiful country in the south of Europe in the center of the Mediterranean. Almost 4/5 of its territory is occupied by mountains and hills. In addition to stunning cities, rich culture, history and exquisite cuisine, Italy will surprise you with its unusual traditions.

Some interesting facts about Italy may seem so implausible that it is hard to believe in them. In this article, I’ve collected 20 of them – and I’ll tell you more about each one.

Waiting for an eruption

The Republic is located on the fault line of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates. Italians suffer more than other Europeans from earthquakes: 15 serious cases have occurred in Italy in the last hundred years. They destroy ancient castles and cities, which due to high seismic activity can no longer be restored. There are three famous volcanoes in Italy – Vesuvius, Etna, and Stromboli.

However, scientists are concerned about the high probability of activation of Campi Flegrei, which is located to the west of Naples. The first powerful eruption took place 36,000 years ago and caused a volcanic winter across Europe. The second eruption was 12,000 years ago. It was weaker than the first, but changed the local landscape by forming a bowl-shaped depression. Now there are several alarming harbingers: frequent small earthquakes in the vicinity, the release of gases through cracks, periodic heating of thermal waters almost to boiling, the movement of the earth’s surface. For example, because of ground uplift, the port of Pozzuoli cannot accommodate large ships. It is quite possible that this is the place where magma will burst to the surface. Just as Italy surprises with its geothermal activity, so too can surprises come in unexpected forms like discovering Stay casino no deposit bonus codes, which offer exciting opportunities without initial investments, much like Italy’s hidden gems waiting to be explored.

About the Roman Empire

Originating as a small village, Rome gave rise to the rebirth of a huge state, occupying more than four million square kilometers – half of modern Brazil. At the height of its power, the Roman Empire was home to 56 million people.

Turning water into wine

One amusing case involves a technical error. In 2020, at a harvest festival in the homes of a small village in northern Italy, wine instead of water flowed from the taps. It turned out that plumbers had accidentally connected a wine tank to the water supply. The mistake was corrected quickly, literally in 10 minutes. But nevertheless, many people on that day saw the miracle of water turning into wine.

And in the town of Villa Caldari near the Adriatic coast a wine fountain was opened, from which any traveler can drink this drink for free.

There are such fountains in Italy in the provinces of Gorizia, Taranto and Rome, but they are included only on special occasions.

Fight against fast food

One of the curiosities is associated with “McDonald’s” in Rome. Italians were strongly opposed to this cafe, and when it opened in 1986, they began handing out free portions of spaghetti at the entrance.

Fashion designer Valentino Garavani also joined the action, saying that the smell of fast food spoils clothes: the new restaurant opened outside the building where his fashion house was headquartered.

The oldest university in the world

Italy is home to the prestigious University of Bologna. It was founded in 1088, 8 years earlier than Oxford. It is the oldest institution of higher education in the world still in operation today. Some even believe that the word “university” began to be used here.

Dwelling caves

And here is a fact from the category of unique. In the Basilicata region, in the center of the city of Matera, the buildings are in the rock. People hollowed out rooms in the soft rock, from the extracted stones they built walls. Such dwellings served the locals for centuries, until a malaria epidemic in the mid-20th century forced everyone to move to more modern neighborhoods.

Years later, the former inhabitants returned and repaired their homes and installed light and water. Now the cave city is inhabited again, and also boasts the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Treasure.

City of long-livers

In the region of Campania there is a coastal town of Acciaroli. It is notable for the fact that out of 2000 inhabitants 300 people have passed the centenary. And every fifth of them is more than 110 years old. And all this despite the fact that many of them smoke and are overweight.

Most likely, the reason for this is nature, in some incredible way protecting against heart and vascular problems, as well as Alzheimer’s disease.

What pizza and the flag have in common

Italians are sure that it was they who taught the whole of Europe to cook: it was in Italy in 1474 that the first cookbook was published. Here they invented fruit pies, coffee, ice cream and their most important achievement – pizza.

Of course, people have cooked various dishes on round bread flatbread before. But it was in the middle of the XIX century in Naples baked the world’s first “Margherita”. However, at first it had no name, only a description: “pizza with mozzarella, tomatoes and green basil”.

It’s funny that the Italians themselves jokingly call their tricolor pizza “Margarita”. On the flag of Italy, these colors have a meaning: green – faith, red – love, white – hope.

The famous dessert tiramisu was also invented in Italy in the XVII century. The words tira mi su translated means “pulls me up”, which can be understood as “makes me happy”.

Italy is also famous for its cheeses, among them there are unusual varieties that are wrapped in cloth and sent to ripen underground.

The second most famous Italian product is pasta. Today there are more than 600 types of pasta, they differ in size, shape, cooking method and texture. Spaghetti, penne, farfalle, manicotti, fettuccini, lasagna, tagliatelle, cannelloni – the list goes on and on. On average, the average Italian eats up to 30 kilograms of pasta per year.

Gastronomic traditions

Interesting facts about cooking in Italy can be supplemented with some nuances or certain rules for the use of products. Through ignorance, tourists often violate them, and the locals can laugh or even get angry at the newcomers.

For example, cappuccino is supposed to be drunk only in the morning – usually Italians add a cake or something from pastries to it. Ordering a cup of coffee after dinner is a sure way to make the waiter laugh. And it’s not even about etiquette: milk can give your stomach unpleasant surprises.

Some more interesting facts: salad is eaten here only after hot food, fish is never combined with cheese, seafood pasta is not sprinkled with parmesan and, most importantly, it or pizza is not seasoned with ketchup. But you can eat melon and ham as much as you want.

And, of course, it is impossible to say that in Russia pasta is used as a side dish: such a revelation is unlikely to please Italians.

About ghosts, castles and gondolas

In the Venetian lagoon there is the island of Poveglia, which has gained fame as one of the scariest places on Earth. Other names are “the refuge of lost souls”, “the bloody island”, “the gates of hell”.

Plague patients were taken here and the dead were cremated. According to historical data, more than 160 thousand people were buried here. Later, in the XX century, a clinic for the mentally ill was opened in Poveglia, where victims of Mussolini’s regime were also taken.

At some point, the inhabitants of Poveglia began to complain of voices and visions, especially at night. The ghost stories became so numerous that the authorities decided to close the island. In 1968, the last inhabitant left the island. Tourists are not taken here, with an excursion you can only sail past an abandoned piece of land with old buildings.

And on the beaches of the Venetian island of Lido there is a ban on the construction of castles and any figures made of sand. Perhaps they interfere with the work of lifeguards, garbage collection or violate the natural configuration of the beach line. In any case, so say the authors of such bans.

All gondolas in Venice are painted in black color, this rule has been in force since time immemorial. According to legend, one aged honorable ruler married a very young girl. Soon rumors began to reach the doge that at night his wife is visited by a mysterious man in a cloak, who arrives on a black gondola. The deceived husband could not prevent the lovers and stop the secret meetings. To hide his shame, he ordered all the boats in town to be repainted black.

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