Italy name comes from the word «italia», which means "land of the calf," perhaps because the bull was a symbol of the tribes of southern Italy.
Italy - this is the most densely populated country in Europe. By July 2008 its population with a relatively small area (approximately equal to the area of Arizona) totaled 58,126,212 people.
Republic of Italy (the official name of the country) has more masterpieces per square kilometer than any other country in the world.
About 80% of the territory of Italy or hilly or mountainous.
In 2007, a dog named Rocco found in Tuscany truffle weighing 1, 5 kg. Precious underground fungus was then sold at auction for US $ 333tys. This is an absolute world for truffles.
When in 1986 in Italy opened the first McDonald's restaurant, next to the institution of the supporters of "pure" food distributed free spaghetti, to remind people of their culinary heritage.
The Italians created Parmesan, mozzarella and other world-famous gourmet cheeses. Parmesan, as you might guess from the name, originally from the vicinity of Parma. Other brands are masterpieces of cheesemaking gorgonzola, provolone and ricotta. No one knows exactly where the first baked pizza, but the biggest contribution to its popularization made Neapolitans.
University of Rome is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the world. It was founded by the Catholic Church in 1303. It is often called La Sapienza («Knowledge"), and it is trained for a record number of students in Europe - 150 thousand.
In Italy there are two independent states enclave: the Republic of San Marino (61 sq km) and Vatican City State (of 44 hectares).
San Marino is the oldest republic in the world (founded in 301 AD), is less than 30 000 inhabitants and the world's oldest existing constitution. Italians residents of this tiny state called Sammarinese.
Vatican - is the only country in the world, which at night is closing its gates to the castle. The inhabitants of the Vatican has its own radio and television, money and postage stamps. In this state with a meager territory even has its own army - the legendary Swiss Guards.
Most of the Italian flora and fauna disappeared due to centuries of cultivation of land and the highest population density in Europe.
Residents of Italy have more earthquakes than other Europeans. In 1693, at least 100tysyach people died in an earthquake in Sicily. The most destructive earthquake in recent years occurred in 1980 in Naples in 1980. It claimed the lives of more than 3 thousand people.
No European country has so many volcanoes here. This is due to the fact that Italy is on a geological fault line. In the last hundred years has been a very powerful eruption of volcanoes major countries - Vesuvius, Etna and Stromboli.
At the top of its peak in 117 AD, the Roman Empire stretched from Portugal in the west to Syria in the East and from Britain in the north to the North African deserts. The territory occupied by the empire was 5, 9 million square kilometers (03.02 US territory) and a population of 120 million people.
Like most of Europe, Italy was devastated by the Black Death, a combination of several types of plague (bubonic mostly), which was brought to Genoa by Italian merchants, who were returning from the Middle East. Survival after the elder disease spurred flourishing of humanism and the beginning of the Renaissance (Renaissance).
From 1861 to 1985, in search of a better life in Italy has left more than 26 million people (mostly they were leaving the crowded southern regions). Usually returned home only every fourth.
The highest mountain in Europe is in Italy. Its height is 4807 meters, and call it here Monte Bianco (White Mountain). In Russia it is more known as Mont Blanc, which she was given the French.
Although the Italian economy during the first half of the XX century was experiencing hard times, now the country is on the 7th place in the world in terms of financial and industrial development.
Originating from northern Italy names usually end in "i", while southerners - on "o." The most common Italian surname is Rousseau.
Italian belongs to the Romance group and is derived from the vulgar (folk) Latin dialect spoken by the inhabitants of the Roman Empire period of its decline. Accordingly, in the Italian language remained the most words from Latin and its grammatical system has remained almost the same. Latin is still the official language of the Vatican.
In the 30s and 40s of the last century Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) tried to exclude foreign words from the Italian language. For example, in football, "goal" was «meta», Donald Duck became «Paperino», «Mickey Mouse» - «Topolino», and Goofy become a «Pippo».
Italy is visited by over 50 million tourists a year. Tourism is one of the most important sectors of the Italian economy and makes a "contribution" of about 63% of national income in Italy.
Shroud of Turin - is an ancient piece of linen cloth, which is believed to believers, is weak imprint of the human body, may Jesus Christ, after he was killed. It is located in the Turin Cathedral of Saint Giovanni at least 420 years. While scientists have concluded that the shroud was made no earlier than the 12th century, many continue to argue, when, how and by whom was created a piece of cloth.
Sardinian island is famous for his "witches" who do voodoo potions to treat local people. "Witch" is usually transmit the secrets of his skill Witching the female line - their daughters.