Welcome to the second half of the list of interesting facts about Italy. Arguably the most culturally influential nation in the history of the world, much of our food, music, language and art is directly indebted to the contributions of Italy. Here are a few more interesting pieces of Italian information for your brain.
Number Eight: Italy is the Most Earthquake-Prone Nation in All of Europe. And there have been a few very notable earthquakes throughout history. A Sicilian earthquake killed tens of thousands in the late 1600’s and a more recent earthquake in Naples in the 1980’s killed 3,000 people.
Number Seven: Italy’s Got the Most European Volcanoes, Too. Italy can’t catch a break when it comes to extreme weather disasters. This is mostly due to the fact that the peninsula itself rests on a fault line that the rest of Europe does not.
Number Six: You Can Tell Where an Italian is From Depending on How Their Last Name Ends. Almost all southern Italian surnames will end in vowels, usually in “o.” The most common last name in Italy – Russo – is an example of this. Italians from northern Italy will generally have an “i” at the end of their names – or sometimes even a consonant.
Number Five: Mussolini Tried to Erase All Foreign Words from the Italian Language. The famous fascist changed the Italian words for “goal,” “Mickey Mouse,” and “Donald Duck,” among others.
Number Four: Italy Relies on Tourism. A lot of tourism: 63% of the national income of the nation comes from tourists’ pockets.
Number Three: Italians Generally Don’t Procreate. The birthrate is the second lowest in the Western world. There have been incentives from the government for citizens to procreate more.
Number Two: Venice is Sinking. Literally. There are always concerns about American cities falling into the sea because of global warming, but Venice has been slowly slipping into the muddy earth underneath it for hundreds of years.
Number One: Italians Have a Last Name Just for Orphans. “Esposito,” which is the fourth most common name in Italy today, is traditionally the last name given to orphans and abandoned children with no name.