Name: Italian Republic (Republica Italiana)
Nickname: Italy (Italia)
Birthday: June 2, 1946
I speak: Italian
Relationship Status: Unitary constitutional Parliamentary Republic
Number of fb friends: 60,589,445
Religious affiliation: Christian (87.3%)
Does size really matter? 301,338 km2 (slightly larger than Arizona)
I drive on the: Right
If we go Dutch, I’m paying in: Euros (€)
My Life Abridged
I go back a long way. Like, B.C. long. Rome was established in 753 B.C and lasted until 509 B.C when it became a republic. Over the years, with guys like Julius Caesar at the lead, I grew and grew becoming one of the largest empires in world history. ::Bows::
Covering so much area, it was impossible not to have spread my influence. You can credit me with Christianity, the numeric system and calendar used throughout the world, the Roman alphabet which you’re reading RIGHT NOW and of course the romance languages.
The fall of the empire was inevitable and I was divided up into a bunch of smaller city states that were all under rule of different empires. And then came the plague. I was hit particularly hard and lost a lot of my population, but it’s true what they say- what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. With the end of the plague came a “rebirth” otherwise known as The Renaissance. It started with me and eventually spread throughout Europe. The ninja turtles were all big contributors, as well as some other well-known names such as Galileo, Christopher Columbus, Copernicus and an endless list that is the who’s-who of art, science, music and culture.
In the coming centuries, fighting ensued over territories with General Giuseppe Giribaldi at the head of it all and in 1861 I eventually become a unified Kingdom. And so, life continued on. While I found myself on the right side of WWI, it was still devastating. Rooted in a postwar sense of nationalism, the desire for expansion and a sprinkle of racism and anti-Semitism, Benito Mussolini brought fascism to the forefront. Some guy named Adolf Hitler took notice and was inspired to start a similar movement.
That did not go well. Although for a while it did. I joined the Germans as part of the Axis for what would turn into WWII. In 1943 things were not going well on any front and I came to my senses and switched sides. Mussolini was out and Fascism was banned.
On June 2, 1946 I officially became a Republic which I still maintain today. I’ve enjoyed both economic ups and downs since then, more recently though, down- causing many to find work elsewhere. Silvio Berlusconi is a slightly tamer version of Donald Trump who has been in and out of power for the last few decades. While my economy may not be super stable I am in love with life and love sharing that with others. (Not to mention I’m beautiful and an exceptional cook.) If you give me a chance you’ll see how fierce my passion is for everything around me!
Movie: Life is Beautiful– Nominated for 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture and took home 3, including Best Actor Roberto Begnini
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alghieri- Enough said.
The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi- You may have heard of this one too….
Music: Pavarotti. Opera did, afterall, start in Italy. Pavarotti is an iconic and arguably the most famous tenor.
Five Things I Can't Live Without
- Food! I often get the title for pizza and pasta (and righty so), but there is so much more to me than just that! Every region has their own specialty and there is so much you’re missing out on if you just think about pizza and pasta. In Italy, it is not a crime to steal food if you are hungry and have no other means of nourishment.
- Hand gestures. I’m notorious for speaking with my hands. And it’s true. It’s just so much more expressive!
- Wine – Always one of the top exporters in the world. It’s delicious and cheap and good with every occasion!
- Fashion – Italians have excellent fashion. And a love for scarves. All the men own hair dryers. It’s adorable.
Ice Breakers Fun facts
- Stendhal syndrome (also known as hyperkulturemia) is dizziness caused by being overwhelmed by Florence’s fantastic art.
- Around 3000 Euros worth of change is found in the Trevi fountain each day. It is collected and given to charity
- At 50, Italy has the most Unesco World Heritage sites out of any country in the world.
- Anyone convicted of killing a cat – owned or a stray – could face a €10,000 fine and up to 3 years in prison.
- In 2005 Rome passed a law banning goldfish as pets and outlawing fishbowls due to animal cruelty
- In Milan you are required by law to smile (unless in a hospital or at a funeral)
Deal Breakers Just No....
- Do not break long pasta in half when cooking it
- Do not cut your pasta when eating it
- Do not modify an Italian recipe and then still call it the same thing plus or minus whatever change you made. Ex. Carbonara with peas. “YOU CAN’T CALL IT CARBONARA BECAUSE CARBONARA DOESN’T HAVE PEAS!!”