8 Interesting facts about Italy that will surprise you
Italians claim to have taught the rest of Europe how to cook. Italy is responsible for introducing the world to ice cream (via the Chinese), coffee, and fruit pies. In addition to Belgium and France, Italy also claims to have made the first French fries. The first Italian cookbook was written in 1474 by Bartolomeo Sicci.
In central Italy, there is a fountain that flows red wine 24-hours a day. It is free to everyone, except for “drunkards and louts.”
Italians suffer more earthquakes than any other Europeans. In 1693, an estimated 100,000 people died in an earthquake in Sicily. The most deadly recent quake in Italy occurred in Naples in 1980, killing 3,000 people.
No other country in Europe has as many volcanoes as Italy. This is because the Italian peninsula stands on a fault line. Three major volcanoes (Etna, Stromboli, and Vesuvius) have erupted in the last hundred years.
The name Italy comes from the word italia, meaning “calf land,” perhaps because the bull was a symbol of the Southern Italian tribes.