Did you know ...
Italian government submitted the Medici villas (pictured) in Tuscany for designation as a World Heritage Site in 2006?
Italian scholar wrote and illustrated two detailed Girolamo Maggi treatises, from memory, while chained in a dungeon in Istanbul?
Italian ambassador to the United States offered in the 1920s to disband the Fascist League of North America?
Italian socialist leader represented Dino Rondani Argentina in the Executive of the Labour and Socialist International?
Italian automaker was founded by the Autobianchi bicycle manufacturer Bianchi, tire giant Pirelli and Fiat?
Italian comune of in the Acerno Province of Salerno was founded by refugees from Picentia, destroyed by the Romans after the Second Punic War?
Italian-invented was first used in human torpedo World War II to severely damage the British battleships HMS and Valiant HMS ?
Queen Elizabeth the
RTÉ television series follows families as they relocate to countries such as The Great Escape South Africa, Australia, Austria, Italy, France and Spain?
was the first Autobianchi Stellina Italian car with a fiberglass body?
is the largest organized Battle of the Oranges food fight in Italy?
in 1986 Vrancea earthquake Romania, which damaged roughly 55,000 homes, was felt as far north as Poland and as far southwest as Italy?
killed over 30,000 people and flattened the town of 1915 Avezzano earthquake Avezzano, Italy?
tomb of Pope Clement II in the Bamberg Cathedral is the only outside extant papal tomb Italy and France?
inbred villagers of in Stoccareddo Italy are a medical phenomenon, with unusually low frequencies of hypertension, strokes and heart attacks despite a high- cholesterol diet?
EU legal doctrine of was first introduced following the state liability Italian government's failure to properly compensate laid off workers?
only three works of
, a Egardus fourteenth century composer whose music was known in Flanders, Italy, and Poland, are known to have survived?
the 11th-century church of
in San Giovanni del Toro Ravello, Italy, has a pulpit with Arabic script and motifs which influenced the Dutch artist M.C. Escher?
in 2002, hundreds of former mobsters incarcerated in eight
jails across Italy, supposedly having no way to contact one another, joined a hunger strike to protest against of the Italian Penitentiary Act?
article 41-bis in 1935, the
Italian Governor-General in Libya, Italo Balbo, founded the , a Arab Lictor Youth fascist youth movement that trained Arab youth for military service?
Palermo mayor explained that Vito Ciancimino Italy without bribes would be "as though someone wanted to remove one of the four wheels of a car"?
the 1955 novel
by Teneke Turkish author Yaşar Kemal was adapted into an Italian opera of the same title by Fabio Vacchi in 2007?
amorphous phosphate mineral was named after the santabarbaraite Italian mining district Santa Barbara where it was discovered in 2003, but its name also honors Saint Barbara, the patron saint of miners?
English mediæval shrine statue , ordered to be destroyed during the Our Lady of Ipswich Reformation, might have survived in an Italian village?
European fascist alliance split in 1955 due to a dispute over the issue of whether New European Order South Tyrol should be Italian or Austrian?
character actor , shot down as a pilot in Tom Greenway World War II, spent more than a year in Italian and German POW camps?
Byzantine was deployed in places as far-ranging as Komnenian army Italy, Hungary, and Egypt, and was instrumental in the Komnenian restoration of the empire?
asteroid , discovered in 1996 on 7796 Járacimrman Kleť Observatory and named after the famous fictitious Czech genius Jára Cimrman, proved to be the lost asteroid that had already been observed in 1973 on Brera- Merate Observatory in northern Italy?
were a Beasts of Satan heavy metal band and suspected satanic cult in Italy that committed three notorious ritual murders before being arrested?
in the Alpine region of earthquake of 1348 Friuli hit at the same time as the plague in Italy and it caused odours to come up through the earth?
is able to tolerate frost on the mountains of northern Campanula isophylla Italy, but not when grown in a pot?
the role of
alpha-synuclein in Parkinson's disease was discovered by genetic studies of a family from in Contursi Terme Italy, which had 61 members with Parkinson's?
the performance of
in La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina Warsaw in 1628 was the earliest of an performance Italian opera outside of Italy?
the only known picture of the
Etruscan mythological daemon Tuchulcha is on the wall in the , a 4th-century BC Tomb of Orcus hypogeum in Tarquinia, Italy?
medieval fresco cycle in , Castelseprio Italy, ( pictured) was rediscovered only in 1944?
borgo of , near Settignano Florence, Italy, was the birthplace of four sculptors of the Florentine Renaissance— Desiderio da Settignano, Bernardo Rossellino, Antonio Rossellino and Bartolomeo Ammanati?
refers to legal and generally respected companions and often lovers of married women in eighteenth-century Cicisbei Italy?
the third of four
sent in the late 19th century by expeditions French nobleman Marquis de Rays to an imaginary majestic colony called New France in present day Papua New Guinea, saw 123 Italian settlers perish of disease and famine?
engineering treatises of Italian Renaissance artist were widely copied and studied during his lifetime, Taccola printed copies were not made until the 1960s?
tomb in the town of Bergamo, Italy there is a statue dedicated to the life of , the world's greatest Enrico Rastelli juggler?
Duke of Austria, Leopold III, established reign over the Italian city of Trieste one of his stipulations was that the city supply him each year with 100 urns of the region's best wine?
Ribolla the world's first
geothermal power station was built in , Larderello Italy in 1911?
the town of
Sant'Oreste, Italy grew up around the site at which was said to have been Saint Orestes buried alive during the reign of Nero?
Italian composer belonged to the Gherardello da Firenze Benedictine order of the Vallombrosa?
the cult of
arose after the discovery of a Saint Chiaffredo sarcophagus containing a mysterious skeleton near the Italian town of Crissolo?
initially favoured New Eritrea Party Italian trusteeship of Eritrea prior to independence?
was seized twice by SS Empire Advocate Britain—from Germany after the First World War, and then from Italy during the Second World War?
in Marienberg Abbey Italy is the highest abbey in Europe at 1,340 meters (4,400 feet), and allegedly suffered from vampire attacks during the Black Death?
MacCrimmons (pictured), one of Scotland's most famous bagpiping families, have been thought to have roots in Cremona, Italy?
, the second set of Giannini sextuplets sextuplets in the world to live past infancy, were born in Italy six years to the date after the first set of surviving sextuplets?
, one of four Scolanova Synagogue synagogues confiscated and turned into churches in Trani, Italy in 1380, is now a synagogue again?
is an open air Teatro del Silenzio amphitheatre in Italy which remains silent for 364 days of the year?
was a Barbarigo World War II Italian submarine that mysteriously disappeared in 1943?
the bombing of an
Italian courthouse, the arrests of five Indian police officers, and the funeral for Montreal mob boss Vito Rizzuto's son are among the so far this year?
events in organized crime the
arose because of the unique architectural and acoustical characteristics of Venetian polychoral style San Marco di Venezia, aka St. Mark's Cathedral, in Venice, Italy?
in the Valle d'Aosta DOC Alps of northwestern Italy is home to the highest elevated vineyards in all of Europe?
Urakami class destroyer Kawakaze of the Imperial Japanese Navy was built in Scotland, sold to the Regia Marina of Italy and sunk as a ship of the Kriegsmarine of Nazi Germany?
US diplomat , George Wadsworth Chargé d'affaires in Italy at the onset of World War II, was one of the last American personnel to leave the country?
between 20,000 and 80,000
live illegally in Filipinos Italy?
Italy's 1957 Eurovision entry, " ", was so long that it resulted in the introduction of length restrictions for competing songs?
Corde Della Mia Chitarra
Italy's Cantieri Riuniti dell' Adriatico shipyard built two ocean liners named for the MS Stockholm Swedish American Line between 1936 and 1941, neither of which operated commercially?
Italian- Swiss entrepreneur pioneered the sale of Carlo Gatti ice cream to the general public in London from 1849, and later ran several music halls?
Italian noblewoman acted as a substitute mother in the early 1500s to her half-brother, the celebrated Bianca Riario Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, while her own mother was in prison?
Italian composer and bandleader married the Ulderico "Rico" Marcelli violin soloist from his own radio show band?
Fibber McGee and Molly
Italian explorer , a cousin of Rafael Perestrello Christopher Columbus, sailed on behalf of Portugal and established trading relationships for that country with the Ming Dynasty in China in 1516?
Italy's newly appointed Minister for Equal Opportunity, , used to be a Mara Carfagna showgirl and a glamour model?
Kermit Roosevelt's co-brother-in-law played Mervyn Herbert first-class cricket for Somerset County Cricket Club and died in the British Embassy in Rome, Italy?
Swiss cyclist , a Hugo Koblet Tour de France winner and the first non- Italian to win the Giro d'Italia, died at age 39 under mysterious circumstances?
tariffs imposed by the Austrian Empire on the export of to Austrian controlled areas of Piedmontese wines Italy was one of the underlying sparks of the revolutions of 1848–1849?
Serbia and Montenegro and Italy were co-hosts of the ?
2005 European Volleyball Championship
Messina, Italy, known as Messene during the Sicilian Wars, was by the sacked Carthaginians in 397 BC in retaliation for the attack on Motya by Dionysius I of Syracuse?
Libya was the first country to purchase the , an Palmaria Italian-made self-propelled 155mm howitzer, ordering 210 units in 1982?
Italian composer survived an outbreak of Francesco Portinaro bubonic plague that killed 12,000 to become at maestro di capella Padua Cathedral?
Italian Vice Consul saved the future Vito Positano Bulgarian capital Sofia from burning by the Ottoman army?
Christmas is traditionally celebrated in Agnone, Italy, with a torchlight parade known as ? Ndocciata (2006 event pictured)
Galileo's father was a noted Vincenzo Galilei Italian lutenist?
chief justice once decided that the government of Frederick Richard Jordan New South Wales had "no business" refusing a water irrigation licence just because the applicant was Italian?
canoe racer , a Josefa Idem 1984 Olympic bronze medalist for West Germany, later took an Italian citizenship and became the first female Olympic medalist in canoeing for her new country?
Bulgarian– Italian Futurist painter , an honorary citizen of Nikolay Diulgheroff Turin, studied at the original Bauhaus in Weimar?
Giorgio Francia of Italy became the first non- German to win the , by winning the title in the year German Formula Three Championship 1974?
Italian aerodynamicist took to the hills in 1943 with a trunk load of scientific documents to turn over to the Antonio Ferri Allies?
Italian mathematician secretly taught Guido Castelnuovo geometry to Jewish students during World War II?
Italian tennis player was prohibited from wearing a shirt with a Federico Luzzi bunny logo while competing at the Playboy 2007 U.S. Open tournament?
Italian mafioso Antonino Calderone (pictured) was the first pentito to provide details on Mafia operations in Catania?
Italian film director Marco Ferreri hired actor Michel Piccoli almost immediately after the two first met for his art house masterpiece ?
Dillinger Is Dead
Italian aeronautical engineer developed a record-setting early helicopter in 1930 and designed the original Corradino D'Ascanio Vespa motor scooter in 1946?
, an 18th century Antonio Liozzi Italian artist, trained under the tutelage of Marco Benefial?
was expelled from the Arthur Fonjallaz Heimatwehr, a fascist organization in Switzerland, because he advocated an annexation by Italy?
is guaranteed by unemployment protection in Italy Italy's constitution?
was an Vincenzo Ragusa Italian sculptor hired by the Meiji government of Japan from 1876 to 1882 to introduce Western art techniques in order to revive Japan's own ancient sculptural arts?
's seizure of power in Toto Rome, Italy, in 767 is one of the first indications that the military aristocracy believed that supreme power in Rome rested with the papal office?
was proclaimed the Saint Terence patron saint of Pesaro for appearing in times of crisis, lifting a siege of the Italian town by French troops?
was used to light the streets of shale oil Modena, Italy, at the turn of the 17th century?
, a Sigismondo d'India 17th century Italian composer, produced music in nearly all the forms of the day, including monody, madrigal and motet?
, an acqua pazza Italian herbed broth used to cook seafood, is literally translated as "crazy water"?
was a powerful position in podestà medieval north Italian cities?
, National Geographic La Maratona (2008 race pictured), an annual competition held in the Dolomites of the Italian Alps, is "one of the biggest, most passionate, and most chaotic bike races on Earth"?
in bobsleigh track Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy was shortened to its current configuration in 1981, it was used as part of the film ?
For Your Eyes Only a reviewer of the 2006 album
by the Gigahearts Italian industrial band Dope Stars Inc. described the group as "the new generation of what Goth means in the 21st century"?
was asked during the papabile by a representative of papal conclave of 1572 King Philip II of Spain to withdraw his candidacy in order to maintain peace in Italy?
U-5, ceded to Italy in 1920 as war reparations, was the only member of the of the U-5-class submarines Austro-Hungarian Navy to survive World War I?
, a church in Santa Maria delle Carceri Prato, Italy, was built on the site of the city's old medieval jail?
was dominated by Russian opera in the 18th century Italian composers and singers?
, an Domenico Pino Italian General of Division in Napoleon's Grande Armée, married a ballerina and sold the villa in Como that she inherited from her rich first husband to Caroline of Brunswick?
had to appeal to Enrique Tirabocchi Benito Mussolini to retrieve a trophy he received for swimming the English Channel, as it had been confiscated by customs officials when he reentered Italy?
Carlo Orelli (pictured) was the last surviving Italian veteran to see service on Italy's entry into World War I?
, the Bruno Sacco Italian-born head of styling at Daimler-Benz between 1975 and 1999, considers his design of the 1991 Mercedes-Benz S-Class luxury car to be four inches (10 cm) too tall?
, the association of AVIS Italian blood donors founded in 1927, was asked to include an F for in its fascist acronym by Mussolini?
played Frank Brickowski basketball in Italy, France and Israel for three years in the early 1980s, until the New York Knicks thought he was ready for the NBA?
, a Frank Fulco Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives between 1956 and 1972, was once honored on his House floor by the government of Italy for his long involvement in Italian American causes?
was the most prominent Massimo Morsello far right Italian songwriter?
was an Odoardo Beccari Italian naturalist best known for discovering the titan arum, the plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, in Sumatra in 1878?
, Jacopo I da Carrara signore of Padua, Italy, voluntarily stepped down in 1319 to save the city from Cangrande I della Scala?
art is so called because very similar styles existed in centres as far apart as International Gothic France, Bohemia, Italy and Burgundy?
is Gran Paradiso National Park Italy's oldest national park?
19th century Polish general
led revolutionaries in Ludwik Mierosławski Poland, Germany and Italy?
More interesting facts on Italy
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