Our ten most interesting facts about Italy to entertain and impress you!
With over sixty million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth most highly populated country in Europe and the twenty-third most populated in the world.
Germany is the most populated in Europe; China the most highly populated in the world.
Of that population, about one sixth - ten million - are over the age of 65.
Longevity is thought to be due to the benefits of the Mediterranean diet with its emphasis on regular activity and good, fresh food.
In 2010 (the latest census date), Italy was ranked tenth in the world (of 227 countries) for the longest-living residents. San Marino, a republic within Italy, is third.
The highest is Monaco. The UK is twenty-eighth and the US, forty-ninth.
Between 1970 and 2009 the average life expectancy in Italy rose by ten years, from 71 years to 81.
That's higher than either any other European country or the US.
Italy's dominant religion is Roman Catholicism. Around 87% of Italians are Roman Catholic - but only about 36% of all Italians attend church regularly.
They have plenty of choice. There are three hundred Cathedrals in Italy and over two thousand churches.
The literacy rate for the population of Italy is 100%. (Source - UNICEF)
The rates in both the US and UK are 99%.
Italy is the only country to have two independent states entirely contained within its boundaries.
Both San Marino and the Vatican City are surrounded by Italian territory. Neither has any coastline.
Italy, on the other hand, has a total of 7,600 kilometres of coast, including its islands. This makes it number 15 in the world for total coastline area.
Canada is number one, with just over 202 thousand kilometres of coastline.
More watery facts. Venice, Italy, is the only city in the world to be built on water. It has a total of one hundred and seventy canals which are spanned by four hundred and nine foot bridges which are crossed by over fifteen million tourists each year.
The weather difference between north and south Italy dictates which crops are successful. In the north, wheat and other grains, meat, dairy products, apples and sugar beet are the main crops, while in the south sun-dependent crops include olives and olive oil, wine and durum wheat.
If you like random facts, these facts about the Pope will be right up your street.
Modern Italy is based on the culture and traditions of ancient Rome. These facts about ancient Roman culture will explain how.
Here are some more fun and interesting facts about Italy. Enjoy!