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Jana Chovancová
September 16, 2022, 11:00am
Reading time: 5:30

10 Interesting Facts About Italy

Do you choose a vacation in Italy based on availability, price or location? After reading the article, you will perhaps take into account other things, some of which you may not have known before.

Jana Chovancová
September 16, 2022, 11:00am
Reading time: 5:30
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10 Interesting Facts About Italy
Zdroj: Unsplash/Spencer Davis
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Vacation in Italy? Why not. This country attracts thousands of tourists and definitely has a lot to offer them. You can choose from a wide range of natural beauties, mountains, volcanoes, historical places or beaches. In addition, a great gourmet experience awaits you. Local pizza, great pasta and a glass of Italian wine will enchant many a tourist.

Take a look with us at what you should definitely see in this country and broaden your horizons.

The University of Bologna is the oldest in the world

The University of Bologna was founded in 1088, and as it has not disappeared since then, it holds the title of the oldest university in the world. Until recently, the university only offered doctoral studies, but now it offers a wide range of programs taught at different levels.

Approximately 87,760 students are enrolled, of which around 6,400 are foreign. Famous graduates of the University of Bologna include three popes, many businessmen and several Italian politicians.


Source: Unsplash/Felix M. Dorn

You may not find the seventeenth floor in many buildings, it is considered unlucky

While thirteen is considered an unlucky number in most of the world, it is not feared at all in Italy. They even consider thirteen to be a lucky number. Italians don't like the number seventeen. Even Friday the seventeenth is called black by many.

Some people take a holiday on this day so they don't have to leave the house. They don't even plan weddings or other big events on Friday the 17th. At the same time, they carry various talismans with them, and this superstition affects the seats in airplanes. The Italian airline Alitalia does not have seat number seventeen, and Renault sold its R17 in Italy as the R177.

Every year, tourists throw around million euros into the Trevi Fountain in Rome

The legend comes from the movie Three crowns in the fountain. It is said that if you throw three crowns (or euros or other currency) into the Trevi Fountain, you will one day return to Rome. But if you throw two more, you will experience romantic love and maybe a Roman wedding in your life. The fountain fills up so quickly , that employees must come to it every night and empty its contents.



A million euros are collected in it per year. This money is sent to a non-profit Catholic organisation that supports projects around the world focused on health protection, disaster relief, poverty and migration.

Source: Unsplash/Michele Bitetto

Pinocchio comes from Italy

The tale of the wooden puppet Pinocchio, created by a carpenter in Florence, is one of the most famous in the world. According to computer expert Alessandro Vegni, who compared the story with historical maps, the story of Pinocchio takes place in the Tuscan village of San Miniato Basso, which lies between Pisa and Florence. The original name of the village was actually Pinocchio.

The tale of Geppetto and his pine wood puppet was later turned into a book called The Adventures of Pinocchio. It is one of the most translated novels in the world and has inspired hundreds of other plays and films, including Walt Disney's iconic animated version.

Source: Unsplash/Jametlene Reskp

Mont Blanc is the highest peak of the Alps

It is located on the border between France and Italy, and the name Mont Blanc translates to white mountain, which is completely appropriate for it. This is because most of the year it is covered with snow.

In recent years, however, the whole world has been dealing with the issue of global warming and the melting of glaciers. It also affected this majestic mountain, which has shrunk by almost a meter over the years. Its glaciers began to recede, and Mont Blanc is losing an average of thirteen centimeters in height every year.

Source: Unsplash/S Migaj

The idea of creating the first thermometer originated in the head of an Italian

The form in which we know the thermometer today was preceded by years of scientific research. Galileo Galilei is considered by many to be the inventor of the thermometer. It is true that he tried, but his invention only recorded the temperature. In order to be able to talk about a thermometer, it would have to fulfill the function of measuring the temperature on a scale. Galileo's invention didn't do that, that's why it was called a thermoscope.

The first person to build a thermometer was the Italian Santorio Santorio. He was helped by a whole team of scientists, and this invention has gone through many changes over the years to the present day. His thermometer was designed to measure the outside temperature and was not completely accurate. It wasn't until almost a hundred years after its construction that the Celsius and Kelvin scales were created to measure temperature as we do it today.


Source: Unsplash/Matteo Fusco

Thanks to another Italian inventor, you can see better today

Nowadays, many people wear glasses. In the past, only rich, high-ranking people could afford glasses, today they are a part of the everyday world, we also wear them as a fashion accessory. Solving myopia, farsightedness or other eye disorders is not complicated at all.

We consider the Italian Salvino D'Armati, who built them in the 13th century, to be the inventor of glasses. He inserted two convex lenses into the wooden structure. A person who wanted to see through them had to hold them in front of his eyes. Since then, many have tried to modify glasses into something more comfortable and practical, but until the 18th century, there were no glasses that could be worn without the wearer holding them.


Source: Unsplash/David Travis

There is a secret passage that served as an emergency exit

Many people think of the Pope, the historical center or St. Peter's Basilica when they mention the Vatican. However, if you walk down the street from this basilica, you will come across Angel Castle. It hides a really interesting gem that few people know about. It is an almost 800-meter-long corridor leading to the center of the Vatican.

There are many stories associated with this corridor, but the most famous is the escape of Pope Clement VII. When, at the end of 1527, a group of German Landsknechts invaded Rome, the Pope decided to flee from the city to the Angel Castle. He passed through this passage, which ultimately did not help him, because after a few days the castle was surrounded and he had to surrender. From that day he became an imperial prisoner in the castle for six months.

A corridor hundreds of meters long leads from the Angel Castle Source: Unsplash/Michele Bitetto

You will find three active European volcanoes here

When choosing a holiday in Italy, people usually choose according to availability, price or location. It's easy to pull yourself together, get on a plane and enjoy a great vacation. But what if, for example, you lie down on the beach in Catania and you can clearly see thick smoke coming from a mountain in the distance? Did you know before you left that there is an active volcano in your destination? There are three of them in Italy - Etna, Stromboli and Vesuvius.

Etna is the highest volcano in Europe and is located between the cities of Catania and Messina. Its last eruption was in 2012. The Stromboli volcano is located on the island of the same name, which is part of the Aeolian Islands archipelago, and is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Its specialty is that lava regularly flows out of it, which tourists can watch from a safe distance. Vesuvius can be found not far from the city of Naples. This volcano is one of the most dangerous in the world and buried the historic cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii in 79 AD.

Etna Source: Unsplash/Samir Kharrat

The population of Italy is the oldest in Europe

In the research that dealt with the number of people over 65 in the countries of the world, Italy ranked first among all European countries. Exactly 22.8 percent of Italians are over 65 years old. Finland, Greece and Portugal are close behind the country of pizza.

However, what comes with age are various diseases, and the biggest enemy is senile dementia. If the situation continues as it is, in 2050 there will be 2.2 million people suffering from dementia in Italy. The question remains - what is responsible for longevity in this country. Pasta, espresso or life by the sea?

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