For most people, mainly men, Italy means three things Gladiator, football and the Italian Grand Prix. Monza is one of the most exciting tracks around on so going there and really experience it can only be enhanced by joining the Italy F1 Paddock Club. However, this little bit of knowledge isn’t going to cut it if a round about the subject of Italy comes up so we now present to you a bit of facts to get you through it should the round come up. You know the quizmaster, it’s bound to happen.
First off, what does Italy mean? It comes from the word Italia which translate as Calf land. They obviously had a great love of cows and bulls back then and as it was the symbol of a bull for the southern tribes this seems to bear this out. They do like a bit of cheese on their pasta after all. Not only that they invented Parmesan, mozzarella, ricotta and gorgonzola. Italy is a Republic, it didn’t want to have a King or Queen as this seemed to be too much hassle, plus it had worked for the Romans before they started to get into having Emperor’s. A lot of the place is Mountainous or hilly.
Food is incredibly important and the Italians like to think they showed Europe how to cook as opposed to the French who also claim this. When you consider how widely Pasta in whatever form it comes in is eaten, along with Lasagne and Pizza don’t forget, it’s rather probably. The first Cookbook featuring Italian cuisine was written in 1474. They also claim to have given us Ice Cream but it’s more likely it was passed on by the Chinese via the Silk Road.
In Italy there are two independent states. One is the Vatican City which is technically the smallest country it the world. It is where the Pope resides and it even has its own money and army, the brightly coloured Swiss Guard. Don’t be fooled by their attire they are regular servicemen and not for show. The other is San Marino which dates back to 301 AD. It only has thirty thousand people living in it and its laws are the longest serving in the world. They have a rubbish Football team though but they did hold the record for the fastest international goal scored at 8.3 seconds against England. It was put away by a computer clerk named Davide Gualtieri earning him free drinks in Scotland for life.
Italy has more volcanoes than any other European country and more earthquakes. That should be enough to be going on with.