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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
Splendid beaches, luxurious food, breath-taking history and mind-blowing discoveries: these are just some need-to-know facts about the boot-shaped Bella Italia.
Italy (officially known as the Italian Republic) is located in Southern Europe and is easy to recognise as it is shaped like a high heeled boot which is kicking a small ball, the island of Sicily! The capital, Rome, is the biggest city in Italy and is often called 'The Eternal City’ famous for romance, the Colosseum, the Trevin fountain and gelato! Italy is a democratic Republic and the currency has been the euro since 1999 (although banknotes only started circulating in 2002 after three years of the euro being only produced as book money). Many assume that Italian is the only language spoken in Italy but there are a series of regional dialects as well as some German, French and Ladin spoken in Northern Italy. Particularly in the south older generations speak only their local dialect which can have some traces of French and Latin in it! The official Italian language evolves from Latin and many words are similar such as ‘amare’ (a Latin and Italian verb which means to love) and ‘vivere’ (to live) with Latin being taught in many Italian high schools.
The South of Italy is home to three very much active volcanoes: the Vesuvius in Naples, Etna located in Sicily and Stromboli by the Italian coast. Italy also surround two of the smallest countries in the world: San Marino and the Vatican which are respectively the oldest constitutional republic in the world and the smallest country in the world! Family is very important to all Italians; have you ever seen the film ‘My big fat Greek wedding’? Well in Italy family affairs are pretty much the same: the family has big social gatherings and places priority on family bonds, so much that in many cases grandparents, children and grandchildren all live in one house together! A great way for Italians to bond is over a nice plate of pasta as food is one of the main joys for Italians; in fact my grandmother taught me how to make fresh gnocchi and homemade pizza when I was nine years old!
Some of the world’s most famous discoveries and inventions come from our peninsula too: Leonardo da Vinci, a great scientist and artist, was the first to prove that in fact the Earth is round and the Americas were discovered by two Italian explorers, Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci. Jeans were also invented in an Italian city called Genoa, hence the name jeans! Historically Italy has been home to the great Roman Empire and extravagant Renaissance and although today it has been reduced to a country of political corruption you can visit museums and the Roman forums for a taste of the once powerful prosperous peninsula!
This article briefly introduces a few general aspects of Italian life, look out for more articles both developing points mentioned here and providing new facts and stories about Italy and get ready to fall in love with la Bella Italia!