Italy has a population of more than 60 million people, and it is the fourth most populous country in Europe. About 10 percent of Italy's population is over the age of 65. Rome, the capital city, was founded in 753 B.C.
The country did not become a unified nation, however, until 1861. Prior to that, Italy existed primarily as loosely associated city-states. Although the voting age in Italy is 18, citizens must be 25 before they vote in the Senate elections.
Pizza was invented in Naples, Italy. The thermometer and piano were also invented in Italy.
Even though Rome has a mild climate and very rarely sees snow, it is actually located further north than New York City.
About 90 percent of the population is Catholic, but only about 30 percent of the people actually practice regularly. Vatican City, which is the home of the pope and the center of the Catholic church, is an independent city state surrounded entirely by Italian soil.
About 40 million people visit Italy each year. That makes Italy the fourth most visited country in the world. Approximately 15 million tourists each year visit Venice, which is a city built entirely on water. There are 409 bridges that cross over the city's 170 canals, and boats maneuver through the waterways.