Italy for children and parents
• Population: 61 million people live in Italy (2011)
• Capital: Roma (Rome), which is often called "Eternal City", with 3.57 million inhabitants and Italy’s biggest city.
• Name: Repubblica Italiana (Italian Republic), Nickname: "Bel Paese" which means beautiful country
• Government: Democracy, Republic
• Language: Italian
Italian is a language which is coming from Latin and you still can recognize the roots.
However not all people in Italy speak proper Italian, but one of its many Italian dialects. Some of the older people, can neither speak Italian, but only the local dialect or will speak only German when living in the Northern Region of Alto Adige, a French dialect in the Valle d’Aosta or Ladino in the Trentino.
The pronunciation is soft and very melodic and so is still used in opera and is popular by young musicians. So even German composers used the language in opera as it sounds much softer than German.
Most young people learn to speak English, French or German as well in school in Italy.
• Literacy: More than 98% can read and write.
• Religion: mainly Christians (Roman Catholics 90%)
• Currency: 1 Euro=100 cents, before 2001 Italian Lira
• History: The country has a long history, as Rome its capital city today was founded in 753BC. After the Roman Empire broke down in 395AD, there were many separate kingdoms and city states. However, Italy became one nation only in 1861 and since then includes the islands of Sicily and Sardegna. It was a kingdom until 1946 after the second World War, when it became a Republic. Italy is founding member of the European Union (EU) and the NATO.
• Flag: The colors represent these virtues: hope (green), faith (white), and charity (red).
Italy is easy to recognize on any world map, as the country is shaped like a high-heeled boot. It looks like the boot is kicking a ball, which is the island of Sicily, don’t you think?
Some Italy Facts about Italian People
Italians love sports. Cycling, Skiing, Soccer and Motor Racing are just some of the sports Italians have very strong interest in and good teams of sportsmen and -women. The Italian soccer league is followed by many Italians abroad too: Inter Milan, Lazio Roma and Juventus Turin are just some of the Italian soccer teams which are favoured by Italians.
The family is very important for Italians, where there are still many big families including grandparents, parents and children in the household. Italians love their food, which is usually prepared freshly by “ la Mamma”, but more and more men love to cook and break away from the typical image of the Italian "macho" and nowadays help in the household or stay at home with the kids while the women goes to work.
Italians are famous for their inventions and discoveries. The Italian explorers Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci discovered the Americas while Marco Polo explored the East.
Leonardo da Vinci was a scientist and artist who was the first to prove the world is round and not flat and Alessandro Volta, was the pioneer who did studies in electricity, hence the name “Volt” describing a unit of electricity.
Did you know that Italians also invented the piano and the thermometer?