Naming just seven things that Italy is known for is tough – it’s just the tip of the iceberg… From historical monuments, creamy gelato, art, sculptures, coastline and cities to sports cars and pizza, Italy is famous for a lot!
There’s endless natural beauty, organic produce, clear Mediterranean waters and 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Plus, Italians themselves are famous for their warmth and passion. It’s no wonder that Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world.
Here’s some of the most famous things about Italia…
What Is Italy Known For?
1. Pizza & Pasta
Italy is the birthplace of pizza and pasta, and for that, the world owes them greatly! The pizza was invented in Naples back in the 16th century when early explorers brought the tomato back to Europe from Peru. People didn’t quite know what to do with the tomato, but poorer people weren’t so fussy: they simply put it on top of their flatbreads.
Pasta types also vary from region to region, from meaty bolognese in Bologna to fresh pesto and trofie (handshaped short pasta) in Liguria.
2. Luxury vehicles
Italy is also famous for its high performance sports cars, and produces some of the finest vehicles in the world. There’s Lamborghini, Ferrari, Pagani and many more supercars. Italy also makes the iconic Vespa scooter, which you’ll spot all across the country.
3. Leonardo da Vinci
The Renaissance was born in Italy, so it’s no surprise that there’s many famous Italian painters, sculptors, poets and musicians. Perhaps the most famous Italian creative is Leonardo da Vinci. A true genius, da Vinci was an artist and engineer who is famous for his paintings, mainly the Mona Lisa (c. 1503–19) and the Last Supper (1495–98). His influence still lives on today.
4. Ancient Rome
Rome was founded in 753BC and grew from a small town to an empire that lasted 1,000 years.
Considered the birthplace of civilisation as we know it, Ancient Rome’s culture spread throughout Europe during its rule. As a result, the basis for much of Western culture comes from Ancient Rome, particularly in government, engineering, architecture, language, and literature.
You haven’t tasted ice cream until you’ve tasted proper Italian gelato! You might think that “gelato” is simply Italian for “ice cream,” but there’s a difference. There is more milk and less cream, so there is less fat. It is also churned very slowly, allowing barely any air in, which makes it wonderfully dense. Finally, gelato is served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream so it’s soft and silky.
6. Amalfi Coast
Fragrant citrus fruits, azure waters and charming towns along the coastline are a hint as to what makes the Amalfi Coast so beautiful. The entire region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Places to visit along the coast include Naples, Sorrento, the island of Capri and Positano. If you’re looking for postcard-perfect Italy, this is it in a nutshell.
7. The Colosseum
At nearly 2,000 years old, the Colosseum is a masterpiece from Ancient Rome. Emperor Vespasian built The Colosseum in around 70 CE and it’s the largest amphitheatre in the world. Rome‘s Colosseum draws millions of visitors per year looking to experience the amphitheatre once home to gruesome gladiator battles.