Italy: The World's Leaders Of Fashion & Music

Italy, officially the Italian Republic is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate climate; due to its shape, it is often referred to in Italy as lo Stivale (the Boot). With 61 million inhabitants, it is the 4th most populous EU member state. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino and Vatican City.


Since ancient times, Magna Graecia, Etruscan, Celtic and other cultures have flourished in the territory of present-day Italy, being eventually absorbed by Rome, that became the leading political and religious centre of Western civilisation, capital of the Roman Empire and Christianity. During the Dark Ages, the Italian Peninsula faced calamitous invasions by barbarian tribes, but beginning around the 11th century, numerous Italian city-states rose to great prosperity through shipping, commerce and banking (indeed, modern capitalism has its roots in medieval Italy).


Especially during The Renaissance, Italian culture thrived, producing scholars, artists, and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Italian explorers such as Polo, Columbus, Vespucci, and Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Nevertheless, Italy would remain fragmented into many warring states, subsequently falling prey to larger European powers such as France, Spain, and later Austria. Italy would thus enter a long period of decline that lasted until the mid 19th century. The capital and largest city is Rome. The currencyis Euro (€)(EUR).


Some interesting facts are:
1. The name Italy comes from the word italia, meaning “calf land,” perhaps because the bull was a symbol of the Southern Italian tribes.


2. Italy is said to have more masterpieces per square mile than any other country in the world.


3. The University of Rome is one of the world’s oldest universities and was founded by the Catholic Church in A.D. 1303. Often called La Sapienza (“knowledge”), the University of Rome is also Europe’s largest university with 150,000 students.


4. The Shroud of Turin is an ancient piece of linen cloth believed to bear the faint imprint of a male body, perhaps Jesus Christ after he was killed. It has been in the Turin’s San Giovanni Cathedral for at least 420 years. While scientists have determined the shroud was made no earlier than the 1200s, others continue to debate when and how the shroud was created.


5. Begun in 1560 for Cosimo l de’ Medici, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence is one of the oldest museums in the world and contains famous works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and da Vinci.


6. Italy is among the world’s leaders of the fashion industry. In the 1950s, Italian designers such as Nino Cerruti and Valentino led the world in creating stylish fashions. Additionally, Armani, Versace, Gucci, and Prada have become internationally recognized. Italy is also known for fine sports cars, such as the Ferrari and Lamborghini.



7. The world’s longest land tunnel is the Lötschberg Base Tunnel, which proves a 22-mile railway link between Switzerland and Italy.


8. Venice, Italy, is one of the world's most beautiful and unusual cities. It was founded over 1,400 years ago on a collection of muddy islands in a wide and shallow lagoon. It has been sinking into the mud for centuries and is plagued by floods.


9. The Sardinian islands are famous for their “witches” who make health potions for local people. The “witches” are usually women and they use a secret language that they pass on to their daughters.


10. The world’s first operas were composed in Italy at the end of the sixteenth century. Opera reached the height of popularity in the nineteenth century, when the works of Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868), Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), and Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) became hugely popular. The late tenor Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007) is a national celebrity, and Claudio Monteverdi (c. 1567-1643) is regarded as the father of the modern opera.


11. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was built in 1173 and began to lean soon after, probably due to a poorly laid foundation. During WWII, the Nazi’s used it as a watch tower. After reconstruction efforts in 2008, engineers declared the tower would be stable for at least another 200 years.


12. The language of music is Italian.


13. Whatsapp is cited in nearly half of all Italian divorce proceedings.

14. In Italy, there is a submerged bronze statue of Jesus Christ of 2.5 metres tall.


15. Galileo's middle finger is on display at a museum in Florence, Italy.


16. Poveglia is an island in Italy that is so dangerously "haunted" that public access is not permitted.


17. Italian serial killer Leonarda Cianciulli was famous for turning victims into tea cakes and serving them to guests.


18. A 14th-century medieval tower rises out of Lake Reschensee, in Italy. It's the only visible building of a submerged village.


19. There's a restaurant built into a grotto in Italy.


20. There is a 180-foot (55-meter) long stuffed pink bunny on top of a hill in Italy.


For more facts visit:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy
http://facts.randomhistory.com/2009/05/14_italy.html

Some beautiful places are:









For tourism details visit: +Italia.it +Tourism in Italy +Tourism in Venice 
http://www.italia.it/en/home.html

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