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A look on the beautiful country of Italy

Look What Came From Italy 

By: Christina Lumia



Look What Came From Italy

By:Christina Lumia


Ideal Italy......................................................1




Toys & Games...............................................9

Arts & Crafts.................................................11



Inventors & Inventions..................................17


Festivals & Holidays.....................................21

A Recipe From Italy......................................23

How Do You Say?.........................................24



Look What Didn't Come From Italy..............27

To Find Out More..........................................28



Table Of Contents


 The Italian flag

 On March 17, 1861 Italy became a nation while The United States was in the middle of the Civil War. Before this, Italy was made up of a bunch of city-states and lands under power of The Roman Catholic Church. Today, Italy is mostly Roman Ctholic and is filled with churches from top to bottem. Rome, Italy's capital has one of the most religious Catholic buildings in the world: The Vatican. The Vatican is where the pope lives and is visited by thousands of people each day.



Ideal Italy


  Italy was home to giant civilizations that changed the world forever. One of the greatest was the Roman Empire. The Empire began in 753 BC and ended in 1453. This Empire left Italy with fantastic art and many innovations that were ahead of their time.




Italian currency called 'euro.'

Italy is a wonderful country with an intresting background.

Today, Italy's population is 61, 192, 692 and it is growing larger everday.It is home to wonderful food, music, fashion, art, festivals and holidays, words, toys, cars, animals, and inventions and inventors. In this book you will find out more about this beautiful country than you thought you did,  and will re-visit the things you do  know about this beautiful country from someone else’s point of view.Today, Italy's population is 61, 192, 692 and it is growing larger everday. 



Risotto is a Northern Italian rice dish that is traditionally served as a primo and which can be flavored in about a hundred different ways. The rice is cooked to a creamy consistency and the broth  may be meat-based or fish-based depending on what kind of ingredients the risotto will be flavored with.





  Italy has an abundance of authentic and delicious food all over the cities.  You can eat homemade pizza, pasta, and many more appetizing dishes including a wide range of desserts. People in Italy eat many things including risotto, pasta, Parmesan Cheese, and many other delicious foods. Here is a look at some extremely popular yet traditional foods served in Italy.




Mushroom risotto

Minestrone with crushed crutons.

Another popular italian dish is Minestrone. It is a vegetable and bean soup that is made of vegetables, beans and pasta, rice, or potatoes.  The common ingredients that are made in minestrone include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes. Just like risotto, it is commonly served as a primo alternative.


Milan,  is the fashion capital of Italy. Many popular designers’ brands are born and modeled in this city. Some famous italian fashion designers whose works are modeled there  include, Armani, Gucci, and Versace. Italians are known for their fashion, as they are always up to date in trends and always have the hottest looks. Some popular articles of clothing people wear there are scarves tied tightly around the neck, satchels, heels, and jeans.


A popular look for men to wear in Italy is satchels or “man-purses.” It may sound funny, but all around Italy they are worn by men. There are even some stores that are dedicated to selling just this accessory alone. The bag is usually worn diagonally across the body instead directly down the side of the body like traditional women’s purses. It is usually used for education as their main purpose is to carry books, but they are also used for fashion. Satchels have been worn for centuries and are fashioned all over the world, from the Romans, to the British, and now the Americans. In 2014, they were an extremely popular look.

A dress from Vlentino's fall collection.


The tradition of wearing black to a funeral dates back to a Roman funeral, when a family member has passed away, they would wear a dark-colored toga called a toga pulla. It is extremely normal to wear all black to an Italian funeral, because everyone else there will be doing the same thing. In the 19th century, women would wear all black from veils and dresses to brooches and jewelry.     







The biretta is a square hat with three or four peaks that sometimes has a clump of feathers or fur on top called a tuft.They are usually worn by clerics and and cardinals during Mass. It was mentioned in the 10th century, but it’s origins are not known. The birettas worn by cardinals are bright red while the birettas worn by priests that have been made prelates are black with a red tuft. Priests in monastic religious orders traditionally do not wear birettas.


 A priest wearing a biretta


The music of Italy covers a broad range of opera and instrumental classical music. It also consists of popular music drawn from both native and imported sources The music has traditionally been a cultural marker of Italian nations and holds an important position in society and also in politics.  Italy has a strong sense of national identity through distinctive culture- which is a sense of appreciation of beauty and emotion, which is very showed strongly in the the music.




A popular Italian music is sort of a musical called an opera, which is a dramatic work in one or more acts, set to music for singers and instrumentalists. Opera is classified under the genre of classical music that was created in Italy at the end of the 16th century. The first opera still performed today that was played at that time is La Favola d’Orfeo (The Legend of Orpheus) which was composed by Monteverdi in 1607. Two of

  the most popular opera genres were formed in the 18th century. These two are called opera seria; which is usually more serious and has a classical or mythological theme, and opera buffa; a comical opera.

Italian Folk songs include ballads, lyrical songs, and seasonal songs based around holidays such as Christmas and Easter, life-cycle songs that celebrate baptisms, weddings, and other important events. Dance songs and occupational songs, tied to professions such as fishermen, shepherds, and soldiers. Dance is an essential part of folk traditions in Italy. Some of the dances are very old and to a certain extent are persistent. Many folk dances are group activities, with a group usually setting up in rows or circles that are easy to dance in.


Classical music is a music genre that is not only popular in Italy, but in the whole world.  Many people love this type of music regardless if they come from Italy. The major time periods of classical music up to the 1900s is the called early music period. The early music period includes Medieval,(500-1400) Renaissance(1400-1600) and the common practice period, which includes the Baroque(1600-1750)Classical(1750-1830)and Romantic(1804-1910)eras. The period since the Great War is surely the most craziest period of all Classical music called the ‘Post Great War.’   



Toys & Games 

In Italy, there are many toys and games that young children (and some adults) enjoy. In this section you will learn about the cicciobello doll, the Topo Gigio puppet, and a popular ball game called Pallone Col Bracciale.

The original Cicciobello doll created by Gervasio Chiari in 1962. Cicciobello looks like a male few-month-old baby, which enables young children to learn about parenting through play. Surprisingly, the doll has become a symbol for generations for Italian children, so much to be mass produced in numerous variations around the world.











Topo Gigio was the lead character of a children’s puppet show on Italian and Spanish television in the early 1960’s. He was designed and created by artist Maria Perego. His show first debuted  on Italian television but he was also constantly on the Ed Sullivan show. The puppet itself is a soft, foam, toy mouse with a childish personality. Children since them have remembered him as the famous Italian Mouse.



Pallone Col Bracciale is an Italian ball game invented in 1555 by Antonio Scaino that was originally just called bracciale. It used to be the most popular spectator sport in Italy since 1555 and is now usually played at family gatherings and parties. The game is comprised of striking back and forth inflated or rubber balls with a wooden cylinder worn over the arm. From the middle of the 16th century until 1910, professional bracciale players were the highest paid athletes in the world and international competitions were held in Europe and the United States.

Arts & Crafts

Italian Art is one of Italy’s most exciting, wonderful, and beautiful assets. From Michelangelo's splendid painting across the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, to Bonanno Pisano’s  Leaning Tower Of Pisa. These two are just a small example of the beautiful art seen in Italy.



Etruscan bronze figures and terracotta funerary reliefs include examples of a vigorous Central Italian which had declined by the time Rome began building its empire on the peninsula. Etruscan paintings and statues that have survived are mostly wall frescoes from graves and mainly from Tarquinia . These are the most important examples of pre-Roman figurative art in Italy known to scholars. The frescoes consist of painting on top of fresh plaster, so that when the plaster is dried, the painting becomes part of the plaster and an essential part of the wall, which is why they survive so well.


Sisteen chapel ceiling

Sculpture was perhaps considered as the highest form of art by the Romans, but figure painting  was also very highly regarded. The Roman artists mainly borrowed from Greek authority years ago. In the 3rd century, Roman art began unable to produce.

Throughout the Middle ages, Italian arts consisted primarily of architectural decorations (frescoes and mosaics).Byzantine art in Italy was a highly formal and refined decoration with a standardized calligraphy and an admirable use of color and gold. Medieval art was produced in many media, and the works that remain in large numbers include sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, metalwork and mosaics, all of which have had a higher survival rate than other media such as fresco wall paintings.





The word “bravo” is used to express approval when a male performer or other person of talent has done some well on stage or in front of a crowd. However, when you are giving praise to a female performer, you replace the o with an a which then makes it “brava.”

Confetti is an Italian word that means “candy,” specifically sugared almonds and other sweet treats eaten during special religious events like baptisms, first communions, and weddings. The custom of throwing confetti, however, does NOT come from Italy. The British then replaced the traditional rice which we then adapted into the paper shreddings we love to throw and hate to clean.






The word concert that we use here in America comes from the Italian word “concerto” which means harmony or musical composition. The word we use means “a public musical performance in which a number of singers or instrumentalists, or both, participate.”


The Bergamasco Shepherd is an Italian dog that was used for hunting and herding sheep. The dog is medium sized while it can grow up to be 24 inches (two feet). An average lifespan of the Bergamasco is fifteen years old. Sadly, it had a close meeting with extinction after it’s fur was used for blankets for soldiers in World War II. Now in America, they are common but not popular and are increasing.


The Italian Wall Lizard is a type of lizard native to Italy. It’s scales are usually are a dark green and brown and other earthy colors which helps it camouflage from predators. It’s habitat is shrubby vegetation, shores and beaches, gardens, and urban areas. The males are usually bigger in size and more aggressive while the females are usually smaller and more docile. They tolerate living close to humans but do not care for them.

The Alpine Ibex is a type of Ibex which is in the goat family. They are herbivores and only eat vegetation such as shrubs, bushes, and grasses. They make their homes on cliffs that are too dangerous for predators. Some say they they can almost gravity because of their homes. Their lifespan is about 17 years and they are about the size of medium goats. One species of Ibex was declared extinct but scientists cloned it and it lived for 7 minutes.


An Alpine Ibex climbing a nearly 90 degree mountain

Inventors & Inventions 

italy is full of rich history, and it gets better with it's inventors and the inventions that are produced from all of their hard work. These inventions have changed our lives forever, and Italians will keep changing them. From the battery to the eyeglasses, these innovations are a fine example of Italy's inventions and inventors.

The battery was invented  by Count Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta; what a mouthful! Volta was an Italian physicist who invented the chemical battery. He also discovered and isolated methane gas in 1774. This invention was also called the voltaic pile made in 1804. This invention provided the first generator of continuous electrical current. These types of generators provide us with power when we lose it for a continuous time which helps us keep going on with  our lives in a time of emergency.


Leonardo Da Vinci was an Italian inventor, artist, architect, and scientist.  Da Vinci had an engineering and made detailed sketches of the airplane, the helicopter, (and other flying machines) the parachute, the submarine, the armored car, the ballista (a giant crossbow) rapid fire guns,and the centrifugal pump which was designed to drain wet areas like marshes.)

Eyeglasses with convex lenses for correcting farsighted vision were probably invented in Italy around the year 1268-1284, by Salvino D’ Armante of Pisa. They also think they could have been made by Alessandro Spina of Florence. 

Eyeglasses with concave lenses for nearsightedness  until the 1400’s. 


Ferrari was founded in 1912 by Enzo Ferrari under the name Scuderia Ferrari.The company used to strictly manufacture racing cars and sponsored drivers until putting their cars into the road vehicle market in 1947 so that it could fund it’s racing venues.Have you ever noticed the famous horse logo on the cars? That horse is there because that horse was painted on the fuselage of the fighter plane of Francesco Baracca- a very heroic airman of the first World War which was one of Enzo Ferrari’s heroes. The most valuable Ferrari in the world is the 1962 model. Enzo Ferrari was born on February 18, 1898 in Modena, Italy and died on August 14, 1988 in Maranello, Italy.


The founder of Fiat was Giovanni Agnelli, who invented the Fiat on July 11, 1899. Fiat’s headquarters are located in Turin, Italy.  The Fiat 500 won 2008’s European Car Of The Year which was the second Fiat car to win the award; the first was the Fiat 124 won in 1967. F.I.A.T. stands for Fabbrica Italiana Automobil Torino. Giovanni lived from August 13, 1866 to December 16, 1945.



   Lamborghini was founded by Ferruccio Lamborghini in 1963. The first vehicles made by Lamborghini were tractors and are still made today.  Lamborghini used to be independent, but now it is owned by Audi. Lamborghini went bankrupt in 1978 and was owned by Chrysler before it was owned by Audi. Ferruccio Lamborghini was April 28, 1916 and died February 20, 1993.

The founder of Fiat was Giovanni Agnelli, who invented the Fiat on July 11, 1899. Fiat’s headquarters are located in Turin, Italy.  The Fiat 500 won 2008’s European Car Of The Year which was the second Fiat car to win the award; the first was the Fiat 124 won in 1967. F.I.A.T. stands for Fabbrica Italiana Automobil Torino. Giovanni lived from August 13, 1866 to December 16, 1945.

Festa Della Bruna is a festival that is celebrated in Matera, Italy; Which is located in Southern Italy.The festival is held to honor the patron saint Madonna Della Bruna. At the festival, people make a large float made of paper mache. The float then goes through to town, and when it reaches the center, people jump on it and tear it apart.







Festa Della Republica is is known as Italy’s Republic Day. It is a national holiday and is celebrated throughout Italy on June 2nd. It commemorates the day Italians voted to stop the monarchy in 1946 so that there country could become a republic nation. Many people have off from work on Republic Day and children have off from school. There are military parades, official ceremonies, and people lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, inside the Altare della Patria in Rome.




Festivals and Holidays

People jumping on the float of Festa Della Bruna.

It is said that the Carnival of Venice was started from a victory of the “Serenissima Repubblica” against the Patriarch of Aquileia Ulrico di Treven in the year 1162. In honor of the victory, people began to dance, celebrate, and have reunions in San Marco Square. The festival of Carnivale was banned in 1797 and the use of masks became outlawed under the rule of The King Of Austria. It reappeared in the nineteenth century, but sadly only for short periods times and most importantly for private feasts only, where it gradually became an event for artistic creations to be brought to life.  Thankfully, the Carnival returned to operate in 1979 and the redevelopment of masks began again as a goal of some Venetian college students. The Carnival ends on Lent, a Christian holiday that celebrates 40 days of reflection before Easter.




2 cups boiling hot water

1 cup chilled heavy cream

3 tablespoons instant-espresso powder

Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

1/2 cup 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

3 tablespoons Tia Maria (coffee liquor)

4 large egg yolks 

1/3 cup dry marsala 

1 pound marscapone (2 1/2 cups)

36 savoiardi (crisp italian ladyfingers from two 7 ounce packages)

A Recipe From Italy 

Stir together water, espresso powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, and Tia Mria in a shallow bowl until dissolved, then cool.


Beat egg yolks, Marsala, remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water using a whisk or handheld electric mixer until whipped in volume, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and then beat in the mascarpone until combined.


Beat cream in a large bowl until it holds stiff peaks.


Fold mascarpone mixture into whipped cream gently but thoroughly.


Dripping both sides of each ladyfinger into coffee mixture, line bottom of a 13 by 1 by 3 inch baking pan with 18 ladyfingers in 3 rows; trimming edges to fit if necessary. Spread half of mascarpone filling on top. Dip remaing 18 ladyfingers in coffee and arrange over filling in pan.


Spread remaining mascarpone filling on top and dust with cocoa.


Chill it while covered for at least 6 hours


Let tiramisu stand at room temp. for 30 mins.Before serving, then dust with more cocoa.



hello-ciao (ch-ow)

bye-addio (ah-di-o)

good morning- Buon giorno (Bon- jorno)

good afternoon-Buon pomeriggio (Bon- pom- er- iggio)

good evening- Bouna sera (Bwona-seta)

Thank you-grazie (gra-tzie)

Your Welcome- prego 

How are you?- come` va? (com-eh- va?)




How do you Say?

Primo- first. 

brooch-a pin attached to clothing



Patriarch- The head of a family or tribe



While believed to have originated from Italy, pasta comes from China. They are devrived from Chinese noodles, which are believed to be brought over from China by Marco Polo.

Look What Didn't Come From Italy 


To find out more



Look What Came From Italy

Miles Harvey 1999


Italy For Dummies

Alessandra Rosa and Bruce Murphy 2000


Rome: The Biograpy of A City

Christopher Hibbert 1987


Websites and Orginizations:


Italian Tourism Official Websites


Italian Notebook