Do you have an inexplicable craving for spaghetti bolognese? Are you strangely drawn to boots in all shapes and sizes and dark films in foreign languages? Thinking of flooding the streets of your town so you can travel exclusively by boat?
Sounds like you have a case of Italian Fever.
We’ve got the cure below with a slideshow of Italy’s most famous sites, plus a quiz on history and culture. Viva L’Italia!
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Know your Italian facts!
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Question 1 of 10
What year did Italy become a united country?Correct 1 / 1 Points
Italy became a united country in 1861. It has, however, had a cultural and social influence on Europe and the Mediterranean for thousands of years.Incorrect / 1 Points
Italy became a united country in 1861. It has, however, had a cultural and social influence on Europe and the Mediterranean for thousands of years.
Question 2 of 10
What is the likely origin of the name Italia?Correct 1 / 1 PointsIncorrect / 1 Points
Question 3 of 10
Which of the following is NOT a civilization that once existed in what is now Italy?Correct 1 / 1 Points
Ancient Italy was once home to Villanovan, Graecian, and Etruscan civilizations. The Celts were a part of what is now Ireland.Incorrect / 1 Points
Ancient Italy was once home to Villanovan, Graecian, and Etruscan civilizations. The Celts were a part of what is now Ireland.
Question 4 of 10
Which pair of twins are the legendary founders of Rome?Correct 1 / 1 Points
According to legend, twin brothers Romulus and Remus founded Rome in 753 BC. It was then ruled by seven kings who fought to systematically expand their territory.Incorrect / 1 Points
According to legend, twin brothers Romulus and Remus founded Rome in 753 BC. It was then ruled by seven kings who fought to systematically expand their territory.
Question 5 of 10
Which Italian city was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance?Correct 1 / 1 Points
The Italian Renaissance developed in the Tuscan city of Florence, and was a rebirth of art and culture that had been forgotten during the dark ages in Europe.Incorrect / 1 Points
The Italian Renaissance developed in the Tuscan city of Florence, and was a rebirth of art and culture that had been forgotten during the dark ages in Europe.
Question 6 of 10
What event had a major influence on post-Renaissance Italy?Correct 1 / 1 Points
The Black Death, or plague, repeatedly struck Italy through the 17th century and had a major influence on the population.Incorrect / 1 Points
The Black Death, or plague, repeatedly struck Italy through the 17th century and had a major influence on the population.
Question 7 of 10
When did the Vatican become an independent state within Rome?Correct 1 / 1 Points
Vatican City was created in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, which allows it to remain an independent city-state surrounded by Rome.Incorrect / 1 Points
Vatican City was created in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, which allows it to remain an independent city-state surrounded by Rome.
Question 8 of 10
Which form of government existed in Italy after unification in 1861?Correct 1 / 1 Points
Italy was officially a Monarchy from 1861 until 1946 when the Italian Republic was created.Incorrect / 1 Points
Italy was officially a Monarchy from 1861 until 1946 when the Italian Republic was created.
Question 9 of 10
On which side was Italy’s Facist government under Mussolini during WWII?Correct 1 / 1 Points
The Italians sided with the Axis powers in WWII, which led to their defeat.Incorrect / 1 Points
The Italians sided with the Axis powers in WWII, which led to their defeat.
Question 10 of 10
Who is the current elected leader of Italy?Correct 1 / 1 Points
Silvio Berlusconi won a 2008 election which brought the center-right coalition (a political party) into power.Incorrect / 1 Points
Silvio Berlusconi won a 2008 election which brought the center-right coalition (a political party) into power.
The Colosseum, aka the Flavian Amphitheatre, is one of Italy's most famous tourist destinations and an excellent example of Roman architecture and engineering. After all, it has survived since 80 AD, nearly 2,000 years.
Originally used as an arena for gladiatorial and other public events, including animal hunts and executions, it had a capacity of about 50,000 people. Now, in addition to attracting tourists, it is often used as a backdrop for concerts and occasionally for events connected to the Vatican.
The front view of the "Castle of the Holy Angel" or Castel Sant' Angelo seen across the Tiber River in the center of Rome, Italy on May 24, 1968. The castle was erected by the Emperor Hadrian in A.S. 136. This fortress, seen across the "Bridge of the Holy Angel," was one of the principal channels of communication between the center of Rome and the Vatican quarter. A covered passage on a high wall leads from the Vatican to the fortress.
(AP Photo/Mario Torrisi)
The Vatican is a walled city-state within Rome. It has a population of about 800 living on 110 acres.
The physical home of the spiritual head of the Catholic church, the Pope, Vatican city was created in 1929 after a long period of dispute between the burgeoning modern Italian government.
Pedestrians enjoy strolling through downtown's Duomo square in Florence, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009. The beautiful square facing the fifth largest church in Europe, the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral, was barred to car traffic amid fears of traffic jams in the surrounding area.
Michelangelo's marble statue of "David" is seen at the dome of Florence's Accademia Gallery, Italy. The contested cleaning of "David'' was completed in 2005, with decades of grayish grime stripped from Michelangelo's towering tribute to nude male beauty months ahead of the 500th anniversary celebrations for the masterpiece.
Pasta and bread are on sale at a baker shop in downtown Milan, Italy.
A lakeside view of George Clooney's villa Oleandra on Lake Como, northern Italy, taken Thursday, July 8, 2004. Clooney shoots baskets with the local kids, carries grandmothers' groceries uphill and works hard on pronouncing "buon giorno." He has international stardom and rascally good looks, but in this hamlet where Clooney owns an 18th century mansion with a private dock on Lake Como, the star is simply "bravo" -- Italian for "a good person."
The Ponte dei Sospiri, or "Bridge of Sighs" is shown in Venice, Italy on June 3, 2008. For centuries, Venice has captivated travelers with an array of romantic images: cobblestone streets, gondola rides through glistening canals at sunset, quaint homes painted in vibrant hues of periwinkle and plum. Tourism is rising, and so are prices. Combine that with the sinking dollar, and it costs even more to have that platter of Venetian seafood from the Adriatic. Still, there are ways to spend less and experience the beauty of the city laced together with hundreds of bridges.
(AP Photo/Betsy Vereckey)
The dressed procession of boats precedes the historic regatta into Venice's Canal Grande Sunday, Sept. 7, 2003. In the background is the Basilica della Salute. Boats from several Venice districts compete in the annual race.
(AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)
Fiorentina forward Enrico Fantini beats Perugia goalkeeper to score the first goal as Fiorentina of Florence and Perugia contend a spot in the Italian first division at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence, Italy.
(AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)
A view of Turin, northern Italy. To the right is the Mole Antonelliana Dome, and in the background, the Italian Alps.
This photo released by Forte dei Marmi Tourism, shows a beachgoer rowing his typical "pattino," Italian catamaran-shaped rowboat past the pontile, the main wharf at Forte dei Marmi on Italy's Tuscan coast. Nature and history have worked together to make Forte dei Marmi into an understated, luxurious retreat from anything that can mar a vacation by the beach elsewhere (pesky things like heat, traffic, treacherous waters and busloads of loud vacationers.)
(AP Photo/Federico Neri,Forte dei Marmi Tourism)
Snow blankets the Madonna di Campiglio ski resort near Trento in northern Italy, Jan. 4, 2001. Madonna di Campiglio, a rich-in-history resort tucked in the Italian Dolomites, offers a chance to experience two national cultures, Italian and Austrian, in a single shot.
(AP Photo/Armando Trovati)
Italian ice cream, known as Gelato, is shown on sale in Venice, Italy on June 5, 2008.
(AP Photo/Betsy Vereckey)
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a free-standing bell tower that accompanies the Cathedral of Pisa.
Famous, of course, for its angle, the tower leans because of an unstable foundation issue that developed after the third floor of the tower was built in 1178. Now, much effort is made to preserve the peculiar angle of the tower because of its role in history and appeal to tourists.