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Italy – Facts File
Italy is officially known as the Italian Republic.
Vatican City and San Marino are very small independent
states located inside Italy.
Campione d’Italia is part of Italy but located within the
borders of Switzerland.
Italy belongs to the continent of Europe. Countries that
border Italy are Austria, France, Vatican City, San Marino, and Switzerland.
Rome is the capital city of Italy. Other major cities
include Milan, Naples, Turin, and Palermo.
Rome was the home to the Ancient Romans, a civilization that
grew into a huge empire. Western civilization as we know today is based on many
Ancient Roman principles.
Italy has many earthquakes and volcanoes due to the conflict
between the Eurasian and the African tectonic plates. The volcanoes Etna and
Vesuvius are a constant danger to humans due to their closeness to big cities.
Over 61 million people live in Italy (61,261,254) as of
2012.
Italy was the birthplace of the Renaissance, which was a
period of great cultural achievements in poetry, painting and architecture.
Famous artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo Da Vinci
were part of the Renaissance.
Italian is the main language in Italy. German, French and
Slovene are also spoken in certain areas.
Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo and Maserati are well known
Italian car manufacturers.
The most popular sport in Italy is football (soccer). Italy
has won four world cups, the last one being in 2006.
Rome hosted the 1960 summer Olympic Games, the only time it
has been held in Italy. The winter Olympics has been held in Italy three times.
Italian cuisine is popular around the world. Dishes such as
pizza, spaghetti bolognese, lasagne and risotto all come from Italy.
Many famous scientists and mathematicians were born and
raised in Italy. Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Alessandro Volta, and
Fibonacci to name just a few.
Italy has played a large role in the history of
architecture, discovering important building techniques such as the arch and
the dome. Buildings such as the Colosseum, Pantheon and the Leaning Tower of
Pisa are examples of such architecture.

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