Italy is a European country famous for many things. It is known for its food, history and art. Italy has a long history with some of the world’s most powerful societies. The Greeks and Etruscans emerged in Italy around 800 BCE. For hundreds of years, Italy was made of small city-states. One of these city-states was called Rome. That single city-state grew into the Roman Empire, which conquered all the Italian Peninsula and much more land beyond. After
Rome fell in 395 A.D., Italy was divided and ruled by foreign tribes. It reunited into a single country in 1861.
• On a map, Italy looks like a boot kicking a small ball.
• The small ball is the island of Sicily.
• Italy is a peninsula, which means water surrounds it on three sides.
• It is surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
• The capital is Rome.
• Rome is the biggest city in Italy and has a population of 2.6 million.
• Rome is nicknamed “Eternal City.”
• The population of the country is 61.6 million.
• The money is the euro.
• The language is Italian.
• The area of the country is 116,324 square miles.
• There are four major rivers: Po, Adige, Arno and Tiber.
• The top of Italy is in the Alps mountain range.
• The bottom of the boot also has mountains. They are called The Apennines.
• There are three active volcanoes in Italy: Vesuvius, Etna and Stromboli.
• Italy surrounds two of the world’s smallest countries. These two countries are San Marino, the oldest republic in the world, and Vatican City in Rome.
The people of Italy have played a very important role in human history. The Greeks and Romans developed different kinds of art, government, philosophy and science. Italy was also the heart of the Renaissance and revolutionized philosophy, science and art. A recent discovery from Italy may change the way we think about human history again. Researchers found a 130,000 to 170,000-year-old Neanderthal skeleton in a cave in Italy.
The oldest Neanderthal fossil ever found is 200,000 years old, but this skeleton is special because scientists have been able to extract Neanderthal DNA from the right shoulder blade. The skeleton was originally found in 1993, but technology has only recently been able to extract the DNA, making this the oldest Neanderthal DNA ever extracted. This skeleton is also one of the most intact ever found.