Discovering Italy: 10 Fascinating Curiosities

Italy, known for its rich history, art and gastronomy, is one of the world’s most popular destinations. From majestic Roman ruins to charming cobblestone streets, Italy offers a unique experience for travellers. In this article, we’ll explore 10 fascinating tidbits about this beautiful country that will allow you to learn more about its culture and unparalleled charm.

1. The Aperitivi

In Italy, the tradition of the “aperitivo” is a way of socialising before dinner. Many bars and restaurants offer drinks accompanied by small portions of appetizers, such as chips, olives and bruschettas. This custom is a perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy the company of friends and family.

2. The Vatican: The Smallest Country in the World

The Vatican is an independent state located within the city of Rome. With an area of approximately 44 hectares, it is the smallest country in the world in terms of both area and population.

3. The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa is known for its characteristic inclination. But what may surprise you is that the tower was not intentionally built to lean. The sinking of the soft ground on which the tower was built is what caused it to tilt gradually over the centuries.

4. Italy is shaped like a boot

Italy’s distinctive shape is often compared to a boot, which has led to the popular description of “the boot of Europe”.

5. The Canals of Venice

Venice is famous for its romantic canals that run through the city. Interestingly, the city has 177 canals, 409 bridges and only one main street, the Strada Nuova.

6. The Invention of the Piano

The modern piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori, an Italian instrument maker, in the early 18th century. His creation revolutionised music and became one of the most popular instruments in the world.

7. The Gondoliers of Venice

Gondoliers in Venice must go through a rigorous apprenticeship process and obtain a licence in order to drive a gondola. Currently, there are only about 400 licensed gondoliers in Venice.

8. Rome’s Colosseum: Stage for Naval Shows

The Colosseum, one of Rome’s most emblematic monuments, was used not only for gladiatorial fights and sporting events, but also for naval spectacles. The amphitheatre was filled with water to recreate naval battles and great aquatic spectacles.

9. The Submerged City of Baia

Baia, an ancient Roman city located on the coast of Italy, was submerged underwater due to changes in sea level. Today, divers can explore the submerged ruins, which include ancient villas and temples.

10. Italian Gelato

Italian gelato is famous all over the world for its creamy taste and texture. Unlike ice cream, gelato contains less fat and air, which makes it denser and tastier.


Italy is a land full of curiosities and charms that captivate those lucky enough to visit it. From its culinary traditions to its historical monuments and romantic canals, this country has much to offer. These 10 curiosities barely scratch the surface of what Italy has to offer. So next time you’re marvelling at the Leaning Tower of Pisa or enjoying a delicious Italian gelato, remember these tidbits that make Italy an unforgettable destination. Embark on a journey through beautiful Italy and be captivated by its magic and rich culture!