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39 awesome things Italy is known for

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What are the things Italy is known for? What makes this country so unique? Find out in this article highlighting 39 awesome things Italy is known for!

The Best Things Italy Is Known For

things Italy is known for

Whether you are doing a road trip through Italy, preparing a short break here or simply interested to learn more about Italy, there is no shortage of fascinating facts about this magnificent country. Italy is famous for it’s incredibly rich history and culture, despite being a fairly new country.  

What’s it known for? Well, pasta, pizza, Michelangelo’s Statue of David, and the Colosseum are a few of the most famous things Italy is known for. But Italy’s culture has also worked its way into lots of modern movies, art, and fashion, like The Godfather, Gladiator, and Eat Pray Love.

Italy is home to a number of famous things. Check out this comprehensive list: 

Food and Drinks Associated with Italy

One of the things that Italy is known for the most is its delicious food and food tourism! So lets start this article off by taking a look at some of the food that Italy is known for best.


39 awesome things Italy is known for

Pasta is the country’s most cherished identity, a culinary delight that is loved everywhere. Though it began in Sicily, it quickly spread throughout the seaside region, which at the time had ports and an ideal climate for drying the product. The most famous areas are Naples and Imperia.

A young cook from Bologna, who combined bacon, eggs, milk and cream with cheese, invented “spaghetti alla carbonara,” the dish that made history.


Whenever you talk about Italian food, pizza is an obvious choice. It’s a national symbol, a food that represents Italy around the world, and UNESCO has declared it an Intangible Cultural Heritage.


The espresso is a worldwide favorite. “Espresso” means “pressure-brew” because it’s a cup of strong, black coffee that’s been under intense pressure.

Invented in Venice in the early 20th century, this little drink has become one of the world’s most popular drinks and one of the things Italy is known for.

Sound good? Check coffee expert Arne Preuss’s blog to learn how to make an authentic Italian espresso at home!


Originally from Liguria, focaccia has made a mark across Italy and the world with its infinite variations consisting of flour, water, yeast, salt, and olive oil.


39 awesome things Italy is known for

There is nothing better than eating an arancini when strolling in the Sicilian countryside. Arancini are fried rice balls that are loaded with peas, cheese, and meat sauce.

Italian Cheese

Among the many things Italy is known for, some of the best cheeses come from Italy! Just a few of the most renowned cheeses are parmesan, gorgonzola, bufala, and mozzarella.


Probably won’t come to mind if you think of something typically Italian, but Italy is Europe’s second-largest apple producer.

There are several orchard-growing areas in Italy, and Trentino is one of the biggest. Check where your apples are from if you’re in the Eurozone!


This dessert is widely eaten in Italy throughout the year, whether it’s for eating on walks, as a munchie, or simply after a meal. In Italy, it is not difficult to find places that make it perfect. It tends to be more consistent and richer than other frozen treats, and there are hundreds of flavors.


39 awesome things Italy is known for

This creamy, buttery, cheese-rich dish is made from northern Italian varieties of rice, including Arborio, Carnaroli, and Vialone. After it’s cooked in broth, it becomes smooth and delicious.


In Italy, there are countless vineyards, from the world-famous wines of Tuscany and Veneto to the less-known ones in Sardinia and Sicily.

Interestingly, Italy is the world’s biggest wine producer and wine tourism area. making it one of the things Italy is known for.


Lasagne is another Italian food classic. As a Bologna specialty, lasagne is made up of layers of fresh pasta layered with béchamel sauce.

The combination of beef, pork, and concentrated tomato in a sauté of celery, onion, and carrot results in a sauce that is cooked slowly and for an extended period of time.

Italy’s Most Famous Cities and Places

Italy has some world-famous cities and places, making these some of biggest things Italy is known for. But where are they? Lets take a look.


A famous city throughout the country and beyond, Rome is the capital of Italy. Millions of tourists visit Rome each year and it is renowned in many ways.

Although not all Italians travel to Rome, their knowledge of its main attractions is extensive: the Colosseum, Trevi Fountains, Spanish Steps, and Vatican City are just a few of the sites they know well. These are some of the most famous landmarks in the world.


39 awesome things Italy is known for

The world-famous city of Venice has a large number of canals, bridges, and palaces built on water. There is a lot to do in Serenissima, from its bustling canals and labyrinthine back streets to its authentic gondola workshops.


Historically, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Italy from 1865 to 1870. Today’s Italian language is based on the Tuscan language of Florence in the 14th century.

Take a tour of the City of Lilies, where film directors and artists shoot their films.


Milan is famous throughout the world as a fashion and design capital, as well as home to the second and fourth-largest catholic cathedrals in the world. 


In Northern Italy, Turin is a center for business and culture, as well as the capital of Piedmont, the second largest region in Italy. As the first capital of the Kingdom of Italy, it is also an important historical and architectural landmark. A city filled with many monuments and a vibrant artistic and cultural life, it boasts a wealth of wonders.


39 awesome things Italy is known for

A description of Verona is found in Canto 18 of Dante’s Divine Comedy, in Goethe’s, Stendhal’s, and Paul Valéry’s travel diaries about the city in Northern Italy, and in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.


As the capital of Emilia-Romagna, it’s home to the oldest university in the West, founded in 1088. It’s one of the best places to live in Italy in terms of quality of life. It was founded by the Romans in 189 BC and named after a Gallic tribe called the Boii.


Palermo is the capital of Sicily and has more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other city in Italy. It’s also the best place in Italy for food, history and architecture.

The Best-Known Landmarks in Italy

Another one of the major things Italy is known for is its famous tourist destinations which are home to a range of amazing landmarks in Italy. But where do tourists travel to and why? Lets take a look.


It would be impossible to begin the list without including the Colosseum, not only one of the most iconic landmarks in Italy, but also a global symbol.

A gladiator contest, animal fights, and, yes, sea battles were held at the Colosseum when it opened in 80 AD. Nowadays many people visit as part of a cultural tourism experience.

Trevi Fountain

39 awesome things Italy is known for

Trevi is one of the most famous fountains in Italy and the world, standing 26.3 meters tall and attracting millions of visitors every year.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

In addition to the Colosseum, the leaning tower of Pisa is a recognizable landmark in Italy, standing over 164 ft high on the Square of Miracles.

During the 12th and 13th centuries, after the tower was built on the mushy ground, it started tilting a few centimeters each year. In 1990, the tilt hit the danger zone approaching 5,5 degrees, so the tower had to be closed for over a decade until it could be rebuilt and strengthened safely.

Roman Forum

39 Awesome Things Italy Is Known For

Directly across from the Colosseum, the Roman Forum was the original center of the ancient city. Historically, this place served as an administrative center and temple, making its ruins impressive to see today. Palatine Hill is also within the forum. Legend states Lupa, the she-wolf, saved the founding fathers of Rome – Romulus and Remus – in this cave.  

St. Peter’s Cathedral

There’s a church in Vatican City, which shouldn’t surprise you. However, it’s not just a church; it is the mother church of the Catholic religion. It is the home of the Pope as well as the premier temple of the Catholic religion. You must see this attraction on your Rome itinerary because it was designed by the most famous architects and artists in the region’s history.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

Santa Maria del Fiore, inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, is one of Florence’s UNESCO-recognized historical centers. It was completed in 1436 after 140 years of construction.

It holds the record for having the largest dome on the planet for a few centuries, making it one of the country’s largest basilicas.

39 awesome things Italy is known for

The next landmark in Italy we find is in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. In addition to displaying masterpieces from Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Leonardo da Vinci, the Uffizi Gallery is one of the world’s most prominent art museums. 

Even if art isn’t your thing, you should check out the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most visited museums in the world.

Pompeii Ruins

Pompeii is an ancient archeological site located between Naples and the Amalfi coast.

Vesuvius’ anger destroyed Pompeii in 79 AD, burying it under so much volcanic ash that the horrible last moments of its citizens were permanently preserved.

Culture – Italy’s Biggest Selling Point

One of the most significant things Italy is known for is its culture, which is truly unique. But which elements of Italian culture stand out most? Lets take a look.

Italy’s Language

Over 60 million people speak Italian as their mother tongue in Italy and Switzerland. French and Slovenia also speak it as their mother tongue.

As one of the modern languages that evolved from Latin, it is one of the Romance languages.

It is a language with many words and is one of the things Italy is known for.

A Polite Way to Begin

You should use polite forms when addressing strangers and people with social authority who aren’t your friends.

Respect, courtesy, and formality are conveyed by using these forms.

The Italian Way of Greeting Someone

Handshakes are the most common way to greet strangers in Italy.

A kiss on both cheeks and a pat on the shoulder is normal when greeting a friend you haven’t seen for a few months.

Using Formal vs. Familiar Language

Whenever you meet someone new, you address them by the first name you know, including family, friends, children, and friends of friends.

Similarly, the polite form is Lei.

Communication involves a balance between politeness and familiarity to avoid appearing impolite or unsociable.

A Warm Hello and a Fond Goodbye

When formally greeting someone, or simply telling someone good morning, Buongiorno refers to the greeting of the morning.

In the same way that goodbye can be used at any time of the day, Arrivederci is the formal equivalent.

Art in Italy

39 awesome things Italy is known for

There have been many works of Italian art that have made a significant impact on the world of art, including works by Giotto, Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Titian, Caravaggio, Bernini, etc. 

Aside from museums and sculptures, art can be found everywhere: in churches, castles, historic residences, and in architecture.


Fashion shows were held in Florence for the first time in 1951, becoming internationally recognized. A high-end shopping district in the city, Quadrilatero d’Oro, is home to some of the world’s biggest luxury brands and is considered Italy’s fashion hub. Prada, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and Valentino all have offices in the city.

The fashion industry is one of the things Italy is known for, among many other things.

The Italian Holiday season

Traditionally, the mother places an image of the Christ child before the presepio (Nativity scene) on Christmas Eve.

The Italians traditionally eat eels for Christmas dinner. Panettone bread containing raisins and candied fruit is baked on the eve of Epiphany. A kindly old woman called “Madama Befana” gave gifts to Italian children on January 6.

Carnevale is celebrated in Italy before Easter.

Houses in Italy

39 awesome things Italy is known for

Villas are large homes in the countryside, while apartments in buildings are referred to as appartments. Houses are called casa. 

The term edificio is used for large buildings, while the term palazzina is used for smaller buildings.

Among many things Italy is known for, these beautiful houses are at the top of the list.

The Famous Transportation in Italy

Surprisingly, transportation is one of the things Italy is known for too. But which transport is famous and why? Lets take a look.


After its invention in 1946, Vespas became synonymous with Italy, just as yellow taxis are with New York or red buses with London. It was a movie star for decades. 

In Roman Holiday, Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn rode Vespas through Italy, and in La Dolce Vita, Anita Ekberg rode Vespas through Italy.

Luxury Cars

Italian automobiles are coveted by petrolheads all over because of their beauty, exclusivity, and performance, including Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lamborghini, and Maserati. Ferrari, for example, started out as a race car maker in 1939 and is now the gold standard for aspirational cars. A record profit of €537 million was made despite only selling 8,000 cars in 2012, making it one of many things Italy is known for.

Other Means of Transportation

Among the things Italy is known for is its cars, which are the primary means of transportation.

Getting around between cities and towns can also be done by bus and subway in big cities like Rome and Milan. There are still a lot of people who travel long distances by train or plane.

Things Italy Is Known For: Bottom Line

The country gets more than 60 million visitors a year, so it’s somewhere in the top 5 most-visited countries in the world. There’s no surprise Italy is one of the world’s most visited countries since there are so many incredible things Italy is known for.

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