10 Fun Facts About Italy – The Best of Italy
Ciao tutti! Welcome to The Best of Italy, a video series on Digging up Roots on the Boot's YouTube Channel. Marilena is going to share 10 fun facts about Italy. Watch the video and continue reading below. Also, be sure and subscribe to our channel for more fun facts on Italy's 20 regions.
1 Fun Fact About The Trevi Fountain
Believe it or not, thousands of tourists toss coins into the Trevi Fountain every day. That means thousands of euros every day. Have you ever wondered what happens to all that money? Well, the money is collected and donated to Caritas, an international Catholic non-profit charity that helps the needy. But, exactly how much money are we talking? In the neighborhood of 1.5 million euro annually.
2 Vatican City
Vatican City, surrounded by Rome, is the smallest country in the world with just over 100 acres. It is about 1/8 the size of Manhattan’s Central Park. The estimated population is about 1000 inhabitants. It even has its own post office which Romans prefer using because it is much quicker than using Italian mail.
3 Italian Unity in 1861
Italy has one of the Worlds oldest populations dating back thousands of years. But, Italy didn’t become its own country until 1861. Then in 1946 it officially became the Italian Republic with its first general elections and a new constitution.
4 The Great Italian Diaspora and Beyond.
Between 1861 and 1985 more than 26 million Italians, mostly southern Italians left Italy in search of a better life. Only 25% came home again. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that the number of Italian descendants living abroad is far greater than the 61 million inhabitants in Italy.
5 The Fascists vs Disney
In the 1930s and 40s, the Italian fascist Mussolini tried to eliminate foreign words from the Italian language. These beloved Disney characters name’s changed forever even though the ban was not permanent. So, Donald Duck became Paperino, Mickey Mouse became Topolino, and Goofy became Pippo.
6 Fun Fact About The Italian Flag
The Italian flag has evolved over the years and there are a couple of different interpretations of what the 3 vertical green, white and red stripes represent. Some say that they stand for hope, faith, and charity.
But, others say the green represents the landscape, the white the snow-capped Alps, and the red the bloodshed that led to Italy’s independence.
7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy
Did you know that Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country? Currently, there are 47 cultural sites and 4 natural sites. Some of the more popular to visit are Pompei, the Amalfi Coast, and the historic center of Florence. Also, a lesser-known site is the Botanical Garden in Padua which is said to be the world’s first botanical garden, created in 1545.
8 Il Lupo
The wolf is Italy’s unofficial national animal. There is a myth that the two brothers, Romulus and Remus, who founded Rome, were raised in a cave by a she-wolf.
9 Italy’s Declining Population
Italy currently has one of the lowest birth rates in the western world. Both the church and the government are concerned about this and offer incentives to families that have more than one child. Also, 20% of Italy’s population is over the age of 65.
10 Along Awaited Apology
The Catholic Church was so furious when Galileo Galilei suggested that the Earth revolved around the Sun that they imprisoned him in his own home. They took their time saying sorry. They finally apologized In 1992, 350 years after his death.
Do you know any other fun facts about Italy? Let’s talk it out in the comment section below. Also, be sure and watch our other fun fact videos on Italy’s 20 regions and read our blog posts on Italy’s 20 regions. Thanks for watching and reading 10 fun facts about Italy. A presto!