Italy is known around the world for her food and wine, culture, fashion, arts and attractive destinations and other things rarely known to others.

When you think about Italy, the first thing that comes to mind are Italian food and wine, music, culture, fashion, arts and attractive destinations. However, there are also other aspect of Italy that many people do not know and rarely talked about.

In this post, we shall take a look at the five shocking facts about Italy that people rarely know or talk about. Let’s go!


Superstition is what I grew up to know to be closely associated with third world countries but certainly not among Europeans. Italians are the most superstitious people in Europe. There are so many omens and beliefs in Italy. 

For an example, in Italy placing a loaf of bread face up could be seen as offending Jesus Christ, the fear of not getting married if you allow a broom to touch your feet, letting any birds inside the house will bring bad luck and trying to hear a cat sneeze will bring good luck.

They also believe the number 13 is a lucky number of prosperity and abundant life while 17 is an unlucky number. This is because rearranging the Roman numeral, XVII, can create the word, “VIXI,” which is translated from Latin as “my life is over.” Due to this, even some hotels here don’t have a seventeenth floor.


Is that even possible to have two other countries inside a country? Well, the answer is yes! Italy is so awesome that it houses two other countries inside its borders. The first one is tiny San Marino, and the second – even tinier is Vatican City.

The republic of San Marino is one of the least populated states in the EU with less than 35,000 inhabitants . It is a a landlocked state in southern Europe located at border between the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna and Marche . The capital is City of San Marino , the official language is Italian and the inhabitants are called San Marino.

Vatican City, a city-state surrounded by Rome is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s home to the Pope and a trove of iconic art and architecture. There is the St. Peter’s basilica and square combined with the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel which is home to millions of tourists yearly.

French-inspired flag

Well, it turned out that the national flag , often referred to in Italian as il Tricolore featuring three equally sized vertical pales of green, white and red was inspired by the French one which was introduced during Napoleon’s 1797 invasion of the Italian peninsula. The French blue, white and red flag became the first reference and subsequently a source of inspiration for the creation of an Italian identity flag.

The Italian Flag Day named Tricolour Day is celebrated every year on the 7th of January to commemorate the first official adoption of the tricolour as a national flag by a sovereign Italian state.

The colors, however, do have their meaning. They represent three virtues: green represents hope ,white represents faith, and red represents charity.

The capital is older than the country

Well, this is a bit strange and it will take a bit of history lesson to understand how exactly this came about. The Kingdom of Italy was a state that existed from 1861 when King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia was proclaimed King of Italy. But in 1946, the kingdom of Italy became a Republic after civil discontent led to an institutional referendum to abandon the monarchy and form the modern Italian Republic.

It happens that Rome, which is Italy’s current capital was also the capital of the Roman Empire. Rome was founded in 753 BC and has a history dating back 28 centuries. The Roman Empire used to rule over Europe, Northern Africa, and parts of Asia until 395 AD and was a separate state until the Kingdom of Italy was formed in 1861.

Italy means ‘calf land’.

The origin of the name Italy(Italia) has been a source of debate amongst many historians. It is thought that the name derives from the word Italói, a name that is associated with the people that lived in the extreme south of the Italian Peninsula who referred to themselves as Italiotes, that is, inhabitants of Italy. This group of Italian people had worshiped the simulacrum of a calf. It was originally spelt Vitalia, rooting from the Latin, ‘vitulus’ which is a one-year-old calf, and the name would therefore mean “inhabitants of the land of calves.

I would like to hear from you: What are your thoughts on this subject. You can share your thoughts and experiences with me and others in the comments section below!

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