Enjoy learning just a little about Italy's rich history, geography and culture, and print out our collection of useful Italian flag printables!
The Colosseum in Rome - a spectacular ruin!
Learn About Italy
Geography of Italy:
- The Italian Republic in Southern Europe is a peninsula shaped like a boot which extends into the Mediterranean Sea. The Apennines run up the spine whilst the Alps form the northern border with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia.
- Italy lies on a fault line so is prone to earthquakes and has three active volcanoes. Mount Etna is the highest but Stromboli is the most active. Despite the risk of eruption, many people choose to live nearby and grow fruit on the slopes.
- Italy contains the independent states of San Marino and the Vatican City, home to the Pope and Catholic Church. The Vatican is the world’s smallest state with the smallest population of 1,000.
- According to legend, Rome was founded in 753 BCE by Romulus, who was raised by a she-wolf with his brother Remus because they had been abandoned by their human mother. The wolf is the symbol of the city.
- Rome, Italy's capital city, was the centre of the Roman Empire. Known as the “Eternal City’ it was built on seven hills and was the world’s largest ancient city with a million inhabitants.
- Rome is now the seat of government and a bustling city of 3 million which is rich in monuments such as the Forum and the Spanish Steps. If you visit, throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain and you will return one day. Each day 3,000 euros are left by tourists!
- The Colosseum could hold 70,000 spectators - an enormous number for its time. It staged gladiators and animal fights and the floor could even be flooded to create mock sea battles! It was built for the Emperor Vespasian and is also called the Flavian Amphitheatre after his family.
- The Dome of St Peter’s in Rome was designed by Michelangelo and inspired St Paul’s Cathedral in London and the US White House. Michelangelo also painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The 343 figures cover 1720 square metres and took him 4 years.
More Interesting Facts:
- The Renaissance started in Florence in the 14th century. Artists and writers were inspired by classical Roman ideas to create a rebirth of culture for wealthy patrons like the Medici. Interest in 'humanism' spread across Europe.
- Venice consists of 118 islands in a lagoon. Venetians travel in water buses called ‘vaporetto' as the canals of the city are used like roads. Pedestrians can cross the water on 409 bridges including the Rialto and the Ponti Sospiri, or Bridge of Sighs (so called because prisoners were taken across it to be locked up in jail).
- Opera is an Italian invention. It was popular at weddings in the 16th century and developed by Rossini. La Scala opera house in Milan hosted Verdi’s famous operas such as Aida.
- Italy is famous for fashion designers such as Prada , Armani, Gucci and Versace and Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini cars.
- Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. It is home to the Villa Romana del Casale, which has world’s best collection of Roman mosaics. Amazingly, the mosaics include images of girls in bikinis playing sport and a boy skiing!
- Italy has the world’s most Unesco World Heritage Sites at 49 - including the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE.
- The world’s largest pizza, measuring 131 feet across, was made in 2012 in Italy. It was named after Roman Emperor Octavian and was gluten free!
- Italians eat about 30 kg of pasta year each. Pasta may have come from Sicily and there are over 350 different shapes.
- In the north, rice is more popular as it is grown in the Po Valley.
We have a printable version of this map of Italy within Europe, here.
About the Italian Flag
The flag of Italy has three verticle stripes in green, white and red. These are said to represent the green hills, the white snowy Alps and the red blood spilt in the Wars of Italian Independence. This flag has been used since June 1946 although it wasn’t officially adopted until 2 years later
Our Italy Resources
We have 4 versions of our Italy flag bookmarks to print, we have colour versions as well as black and white versions to colour yourself.
Get the kids to find out what they need to fill in this simple fact worksheet on Italy - a fun way to learn about the country.
These worksheets are designed to help children recognise Italy on a simplified map of Europe - not the hardest task given its distinctive "boot" shape!
Choose one of our notebooking pages featuring the Italian flag, and use them to record what you have learned about this European country.
Use this useful map of Europe, with Italy's position picked out in red, with our location worksheets.