7. St. Peter’s Basilica was encased in bulletproof glass after a mentally disturbed geologist, Laszlo Toth, attacked the sculpture with a hammer in 1972.
8. Italian journalist and author Carlo Lorenzini wrote the novel The Adventures of Pinnochio. His pseudonym “Carlo Collodi” was taken from his mother’s hometown Collodi in Tuscany where the Pinocchio Park opened in 1956.
9. The Vatican City or the Holy City is an independent city-state governed by an absolute monarchy (the Pope) and has its own flag, anthem, army (Swiss Guard), money, stamps, pharmacy, post office, telephone system, money and media outlets. It is about one-eighth the size of New York’s Central Park with an estimated population of over 800 residents. Hence, it is considered the “smallest country in the world”.
10. We all know that Galileo Galilei was arrested nearly 400 years ago by the Roman Catholic Church for having proved the earth moves around the sun and not the other way round. The Church issued a formal apology in 1992
12. While the ‘mad cow’ disease had made an Italian delicacy called Pajata illegal for 14 years, it is now back on the menus. Pajata is made from the intestines of calves which have been milk-fed, and the result of cooking this in tomato sauce or grilling is a creamy intestine dish.
13. Italians love their organ meats and pig’s blood. In Southern Italy, people eat a sweet pig blood pudding mixed with chocolate and cream usually just before Ash Wednesday. The locals call it Sanguinaccio dolce.
14. Italy is only slightly larger than Arizona
15. The name of measurement of electricity – the volt, is named for Alessandro Volta, who invented the first battery in 1779
16. Italians believe that if someone brushes over a single person’s feet with a broom that he or she will never get married