50 Interesting Facts about Italy

26Perfect teeth

The victims of the Pompeii eruption had "perfect teeth", which is probably linked to both a healthy diet and high levels of fluorine in the air and water near the volcano.


27. In the 17th century Italy, a set of conjoined twins were on trial for murder. Authorities arrested Lazarus Baptista Colloredo after he stabbed a man for teasing his parasitic twin brother. Though he was sentenced to death the court let him go, finding that they could not execute him without killing his innocent conjoined twin.


28. Italy only became a unified country in 1861 by consolidating several smaller states under one centralized government.


29. In Ancient Rome, if people wished to commit suicide, they applied to the Senate and, if their petitions were approved, were given free hemlock.


30. Venice Island was built on a foundation of tree trunks. 1200 years later, those same trunks still support almost all of central Venice.


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31Michelangelo's Statue of David

Michelangelo's Statue of David has an unusually enlarged right hand and head because it was originally intended to be kept atop on the cathedral roof so that important parts would be proportionately visible from way below.


32. Leonardo da Vinci created plans for a "mechanized knight," a robot-like creation reliant on a system of pulleys. When these plans were found almost 500 years later and built according to Leonardo's specifications, the design worked perfectly.


33. The earliest known marketing pun was found in Pompeii on wine jars labeled "Vesuvinum". The word is a blend of Vesuvius (the volcano that destroyed the city), and vinum (Latin for wine).


34. Most pizza sold in Italy is specifically created to match the tourists' expectations of what authentic pizza is, not to match authentic Italian recipes. Tourists then go home and open up pizza shops to recreate this "authentic" experience. This is called the Pizza effect.


35. In 2011, archeologists in Italy found the buried remains of a couple who have been holding hands for 1,500 years.


36Pink Bunny

There is a 200 foot stuffed pink bunny with its entrails spilling out over a hill in Italy.


37. In 2008, "Due to a technical error" wine replaced water in dozens of homes during the Italian grape festival in Marino, Italy.


38. In 2014, a cleaning woman at an exhibition in Italy threw away artworks worth $13700 that were part of modern art installation thinking that it was trash.


39. There is a church named Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini in Rome that is lined with skeletons and has a plaque in 3 languages that reads "What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be."


40. The first record of a tomato based pasta sauce is from 1790. Italian cuisine had no tomatoes until after New World contact since tomatoes originate from the Americas.


41Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci may have written backward not for secrecy, but because he was left-handed and it was easier for him to do.


42. The Latin word "arena" means "sand" and we get it's modern definition because Romans covered the Colosseum floor with sand to absorb blood.


43. There is a fountain (Caldari di Ortona wine fountain) in Italy that dispenses free wine 24x7.


44. Galileo's middle finger is up for display at a museum in Florence, Italy.


45. In ancient Rome, the architectural feature called a "vomitorium" was the entranceway through which crowds entered and exited a stadium. The Latin word vomitorium derives from the verb vomitum which means "to spew forth".


46Reschensee

There's an abandoned town named Reschensee under a lake in Italy. The church tower can still be seen above the surface.


47. Leonardo Da Vinci used to go to pet stores, buy caged birds, and set them free.


48. Leonardo da Vinci recommended gazing at stains on a wall or similar random marks as a stimulus to creative fantasy.


49. In 350 A.D., Pope Julius I, bishop of Rome, proclaimed December 25 as the official celebration date for the birthday of Jesus Christ.


50. Leonardo da Vinci made plans for a clockwork three-wheeled vehicle in 1478. In 2004, it was recreated based on his designs and it worked.

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