Italy Facts: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

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Italy is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich countries in the entire world. It also boasts one of the oldest recorded histories not only in Europe but on the planet. There’s no shortage of interesting facts about the nation. Here are fifteen.

Number Fifteen: It’s Smaller Than You Think. Despite its immeasurable impact on world history, Italy is only 116,400 square miles, and that includes the islands of Sicily and Sardinia off its coast. In total, that’s only a little larger than the state of Arizona.

Number Fourteen: Its Capital is Old. Very old. Rome, the capital of Italy, is 3,000 years old. It’s only been the capital since 1871 though, since Italy as the nation we know it has only been around for a short while.

Number Thirteen: It’s Not Flat. When outsiders think of Italy, they might imagine cities which ancient architecture or picturesque beaches with clear skies overhead. But about 80% of the Italian landscape is composed of hilly or mountainous land.

Number Twelve: The Biggest Truffle in Recorded History Hails from Italy. A dog, fittingly named Rocco, discovered the Truffle in Tuscany. It weighed 3.3 pounds, which doesn’t sound that large. But to put in in perspective, the truffle sold for a record $333,000.

Number Eleven: Italians Protested the Opening of McDonald’s. When the first of this international franchise opened in the city of Rome – back in 1986 – Roman citizens were not pleased. In protest, they had the most Italian form of rebellion: they offered up free spaghetti outside of the McDonald’s.

Number Ten: The Italian Wolf is a National Icon. It is the official animal of the country.

Number Nine: There Are Two Independent Nations Within the Country. Both the Republic of San Marino (which is just 25 square miles) and the Vatican City, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church (which can’t even be measured in miles at a mere 108.7 acres) lie within Italy. On a side note, Vatican City is the only nation able to literally lock a gate at night to prevent anyone from entering. For more unexpected Italian information like this, be sure to check back in when part 2 of this list is published.

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