What is Italy famous for? Pizzas, pastas, cars, hand gestures and of course their impressive destinations are just some of the popular things about Italy, but there are many more.
Top 20 things Italy is known for
Even though it is relatively new (It is an official united country since 1861), there are many things that make Italy famous now a days and that´s why we are all so obsessed with visiting it. Traditional italian things are always present in our day-to-day, while watching a show or a movie, when having lunch with the family or even in the clothes we wear, they are everywhere!
Below you will find a list with the 20 most famous Italian things divided in different categories:
The best thing about Italy: The food
At this point, I think it would be impossible to find someone in the whole planet who hasn´t tried at least one dish from the Italian food. There are Italian restaurants in almost every city and town, but most important every country has adopted some of this meal as if they were theirs. I am sure you can think of at least one Italian food that you eat weekly at home. Here are the 3 most popular Italian dishes.
Of course, Pizza had to be the number one of this list of “What is Italy well known for?”. Just by seeing how international they are, you can tell people seriously like them.
Now a days, there are many ways of making them and many different types too, but doesn´t matter how hard other countries try, they will never be as good as the ones from Italy, specially from Naples, which is where they originally from.
Gelato in English means Ice Cream as you will probably know, but even though they have the same name and they look the same, they are different.
Gelatos are made in a different way and people even study careers about making Gelatos, that is just a prove of how much Italians care about their food. If you ever have the chance of trying one, you should totally go for it, as they are the best in the world.
The last food we are going to talk about is also one of those iconic Italian things, the Pasta. As it happens with the pizza, pasta is eaten now a days all over the world and it is delicious.
There are many different types of pasta, you can differentiate them by their shape, the most common ones are spaghettis, macaroni, penne and fettucine or by their sauce, which they have thousands of types like Pesto, Bolognese or Pomodoro. Which one is your favorite?
What places are famous in Italy?
Italy is without any doubt one of the most touristic countries in the world. There are all kind of places, from big cities with a lot of history like Rome or Florence, to small charming towns like Trentino. You will also be able to enjoy a relax and chill vacation at the beach in places like Cinque Terre or the Amalfi Coast or go hiking at the impressive Dolomites Mountains. Here are 3 of the most famous sites you can visit in Italy:
4) The stunning canals of Venice
Of all the things Italy is famous for, Venice is one of our favourites, I mean, who wouldn´t like to ride a gondola through those narrow canals in Venice, or admire the colorful houses of Burano and Murano? It is true that Venice is a super busy city, and you will see tourists all over the place, but it still is one of those places you must visit at least once in your life.
That said, if you are planning on going, we recommend you getting ready to wake up very early, as not only you will be able to see the sunrise which is absolutely beautiful, but you will also have the whole city for yourself, which makes the experience way better.
5) Colosseum of the Ancient Rome
Some people say the history of Rome will never be fully discovered as there are still thousands of buildings to be found in the underground. That said, one thing seems clear, there will never be something like The Colosseum of Rome.
It is one of the 7 wonders of the world and a must if you are traveling to Italy. Even though it was built and used for horrible things many centuries ago, we must all admit its architecture is impressive and visiting it is totally worth it.
6) Leaning tower of Pisa
Believe it or not, the leaning tower of Pisa was never meant to be made that way and at first, it was considered an epic fail.
Luckily for its author Bonanno Pisano, over time people started to appreciate its beauty and now a days it is for sure one of the most famous landmarks in the whole country and it has more than a million visitors per year. If you decide to visit it, don´t forget to take the picture holding the tower (CARAS DE RISAS)
Wines and vineyards are special in Italy
Now that you have all the food, you just need the drinks, right? Well, don´t worry, because wines and vineyards are also typical Italian things and they have some of the best in the world. We even see them in famous movies like Gladiator! If you are wine fanatic, visiting Italy should be a must for you. Here are some of the most popular wines in Italy.
Lambrusco is like the Rioja from Spain, it might or might not be the best wine, but it is for sure the most famous things of Italy and everyone knows about it.
This wine is typical from the Emilia-Romagna region and it is made of a red grape with the same name. There are different types of Lambrusco, you will find them sweet, semi-sweet or dry, usually dryer ones are the best, but of course it depends on your taste. The best way to drink Lambrusco, is accompanying it with food from the region, like some prosciutto cheese.
In this case, it is a wine from the Tuscany region, like many other good Italian wines. Like the Lambrusco, the Chianti is also extremely popular, not just in Italy, but everywhere you go.
The best things about this wine, is that thanks to its characteristics, you can drink it with almost all kind of food. Here is a tip, if you decide to get some Chianti, make sure to drink it soon, as it is said they don´t age well, and the best time to try them is in their early days.
Art: Something you can´t miss about Italy
Through out its whole history, Italy has changed in many different things with their ups and downs, but there was always one thing where they would stand out, which is their art. Some of the most famous artist of the history are from this country, a good example of it are Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael.
We don´t have to go back to the past to see great artist in Italy, as even now a days some of the best Opera Musicians ever are from there too, like Andrea Bocelli or Luciano Pavarotti. Here are some of the most popular artworks made in Italy:
9) The Mona Lisa
Of all the things that are Italian, La Mona Lisa from the artist Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most popular ones.
That said, don´t expect to see it anywhere in Italy, as it was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now owned by the French Republic. Since 1797, you will be able to see it at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
10) El David
Another piece of art Italy is also famous for is El David made by Miguel Angel. This sculpture is based on the story of the Bible where David fights against Goliat.
Other artists like Donatello, Ghiberti y Verrocchio made it as well, but the one from Miguel Angel represents a different part of the story. This sculpture is considered by many, one of the best that has ever been made and it is one of the symbols of the city of Florence.
The famous Italian Cars
Even though the invention of the car took place in Germany, throughout the years, the automotive industry developed quite a lot, and now a days, some of the best and most famous car brands are from Italy. There are brands of all kind from luxury ones like Lamborghini and Maserati to more affordable ones like Fiat or Alfa Romeo. Out of all of them, there is one that stands out, and that really is a symbol of Italy:
Ferrari is without any doubt, one of those cool things that makes Italy so famous, as it is the most popular car brand in the world.
The main reason why they are so well known (other than how expensive and impressive they are) is its constant participation in international races, especially in Formula One, where in despite of their not so lucky last years, they have more constructors championships than any other team. Driving a Ferrari is usually seen as sign of wealth and power.
What are Italians known for?
As it happens in other Mediterranean countries like Portugal and Spain, Italian people are very friendly and welcoming and that´s for sure one of those good things from Italy that everyone likes. They are usually very close to their family and friends and of course, they like to party a lot.
Historically, Italians´mayor religion was Catholicism, decades ago, going to church and praying used to be a very important part of the day of the Italian people, however, this has change in the last years, and less people are actually practicing Catholics. Here are two famous facts everyone should know about Italians:
12) Hand gestures
This might be a stereotype, but we all have seen in the movies the typical hand gesture bringing all the fingertips together, upright while the hand is waved up and down, right?
Well, that´s just the most famous one, but Italians use their hands even more than their mouth and it is for sure another thing that Italians are known for. They basically express everything they want to say with their hands. Just so you can imagine, there is even have a dictionary explaining what each sign means.
14) Italian Language
Italian is a popular language, maybe not like English, Spanish or French, but it ranks in the number 20 of the most spoken languages in the world, which is not too bad.
That said, even though not that many people speak the language, thanks to the famous videogame Mario Brosh, one of the most famous sentences ever, ¡Mama mía! comes from Italy. That added to the funny and melodic accent they have, makes Italian be one of the most famous languages in the world.
Sports that are famous in Italy
Italy is known as one of those countries that makes it to the top in every sport they play, furthermore if you see the world cups they have in each category, you will realize how good they have always been.
Some of the ones they practice the most are Basketball, Volleyball, Cycling, Gymnastics… Out of all them, there is one were they have always stand out and you probably know which one it is.
Yes! You are right! That famous sport we were talking about is football (soccer if you are from the US). As you might know, football is important in almost every European country and Italy is no exception.
Almost every kid in Italy plays football and that´s the main reason why they are so good. Italy is the second country (tied with Germany) with more World cup titles, 4, just one less than Brazil. Their teams are also incredibly good, AC Milan, Juventus and Inter are always on the top of the European competitions.
Ballet isn´t as famous and popular as other sports played in this country, but Italians are proud of it.
Why is it? Because they were the ones who invented it. Later France started to develop it and get better at it, they created new moves and of course they were all called with French names. Because of this reason many people tend to think it is a French sport, but it started in Italy.
What is the history of Italy famous for?
Italy is well known for its history, but as we said before, it is a relatively new country. Until 1861 Italy didn´t even exist, as it was just a group of individual and different states spread through the Italian peninsula. To study it properly, you need to have in mind both times, before and after the unification. We would have to make a whole article to really show you all about the Italian history, but for the moment, let us tell you about the most important moments.
16) Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was one of the most important civilizations ever. It lasted for around 1000 years, from 550 BC–465 AD. During those years, the Roman Empire conquered an important portion of Europe, from East to West and from South to North, and some southern countries like Syria, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco.
The Roman empire was at first ruled by kings, but later the people took over control and it became a “Republic”. Rome had some of the most famous emperors in history, like Julius Caesar, Trajan, and Augustus.
17) Benito Mussolini and the Italian fascism
The fascism arrived at Italy, as it has happened in many other countries. This movement lasted 17 years, from1922 to 1937 and it was led by the dictator Benito Mussolini. Not in a good way, but he was one of the most important people in Italy.
His main idea was to make Italy great again, he wanted to bring back the Roman Empire days. Of course, as we all know, he was not able to make it happen, but he did conquer some countries like Ethiopia. Italy fought side by side with Germany during the World War II. Since 1943, Mussolini started to lose power, until he was killed in 1945.
Other things associated with Italy
These are just some of the famous things made in Italy, but there is more, that you probably have heard of… Let us show you!
In this case, it doesn´t affect the whole country, but Milan, which is considered by many, the world’s fashion capital.
Not only they host one of the most important fashion weeks of the year, but it is also home to some of the world’s biggest luxury brands, like Prada, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino… If you are looking for a place to go shopping in Italy, Milan is the right one.
19) The Mafia
Although it is in a bad way, the Mafia is for sure one of the most famous things that represent Italy. The Mafia secretly ruled the country for many years and even now a days it still is a powerful tool that affects the economy and politics of Italy.
The mafia became very popular thanks to movies like The Godfather, Goodfellas, Gomorrah and many more and their representation in shows like The Simpsons.
20) Cristóbal Colón and other famous explorers
Last of all, another reason why Italy is so famous for, is for being Cristobal Colón birthplace. Even though some people think Columbus was from Spain, the truth is that he was born in Genova, Italy, in 1451.
The main reason why so many people think he was Spanish, is because he lived there for many years, and most important, it is the country where he decided to sail to America.
Italy was also the birthplace of other famous explorers such as Amerigo Vespucci, Marco Polo and John Cabot.
Hope you enjoyed reading about the famous Italian things
That´s all you need to know about “What is Italia best known for?”, hope you have liked it and if you are traveling to Italy any time soon, have a wonderful trip!
If you have any other question about the popular and famous things from Italy, please let us know!