Beyond Pizza and Pasta: 40 Fascinating Facts About Italy

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26Pizza effect

Pizza effect

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.

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

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

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

30. 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.

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31Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini

Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini

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."

32. 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.

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

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

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

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36Galileo's middle finger

Galileo's middle finger

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

37. 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".

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

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

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

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