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1Appian Way

After Spartacus’ revolt in 73 B.C.E., 6,000 slaves were crucified along a 120-mile stretch of road called the Appian Way. This equated to roughly 50 slaves per mile or roughly 1 slave every hundred feet. The mass crucifixion served as a deterrent to anyone else who thought to defy Rome.

2. There's an abandoned town named Reschensee under a lake in Italy. The church tower can still be seen above the surface.

3. In Turin Italy, you must walk your dog 3 times a day or face a fine.

4. In 350 A.D., Pope Julius I, bishop of Rome, proclaimed December 25 as the official celebration date for the birthday of Jesus Christ.

5. In 2014, a cleaning woman at an exhibition in Italy threw away artworks worth $13,700 that were part of modern art installation thinking that it was trash.

6Olive oil

Most Italian extra virgin olive oil sold in stores is a fraud. Nearly 70% of cheaper olive oil is not from actual olives but is cut with cheaper seed oil to lower the price, and much of the product doesn't even come from Italy.

7. Toilets in ancient Rome were bad enough to warrant prayers to the Gods of fortune written on the walls. Problems included bursts of flame from the methane buildup, and biting creatures emerging from below.

8. There is a fountain named Caldari di Ortona wine fountain in Italy that dispenses free wine 24x7.

9. The earliest known marketing pun was found in Pompeii on wine jars labeled "Vesuvinum". The word is a blend of Vesuvius (the volcano that destroyed the city), and vinum (Latin for wine).

10. The great Italian painter Michelangelo used to burn his drawings so that people wouldn't know he had to work to achieve perfection.

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11Take-out restaurants

Take-out restaurants existed in ancient Rome, with service counters opening onto the street to pick up food. More than 200 existed in Pompeii, and most of its homes lacked dining or kitchen areas, suggesting that cooking at home was unusual.

12. Over 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci made an interesting observation about trees. Da Vinci wrote in his notebook that "all the branches of a tree at every stage of its height when put together are equal in thickness to the trunk." In other words, if a tree’s branches were folded upward and squeezed together, the tree would look like one big trunk with the same thickness from top to bottom.

13. A young Italian in the 15th century fell into the side of a hill, discovering the remains of the Domus Aurea, an enormous Roman palace filled with art. Michaelangelo and Raphael visited this buried palace, inspiring their art, and subsequently the early Italian Renaissance.

14. A loaf of bread made in Pompeii in first century A.D. has been discovered by archaeologists. Impressed on it was a Roman bread stamp, which bakeries were required to use to prevent fraud.

15. In 2008, Italy spent $65,000,000 to bail out the Parmesan cheese industry.

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16Perfect teeth

The victims of the Pompeii eruption had "perfect teeth", which is probably linked to both a healthy diet and high levels of fluorine in the air and water near the volcano.

17. Italy’s Credem Bank takes parmesan cheese from local producers in exchange for cheap loans (charging 3-5% interest, depending on quality) and a fee ensuring the cheese matures properly (2years) in the bank vault (cheese is sold if the loan defaults). 430,000 parmesan wheels (worth $200 million) are stored there.

18. In 2008, "Due to a technical error" wine replaced water in dozens of homes during the Italian grape festival in Marino, Italy.

19. Doctors in ancient Rome used an early form of electrotherapy to successfully treat neurological conditions such as epilepsy and migraines. They administered the charges by placing electric torpedo fish on the patient's head.

20. Black people in ancient Rome were not discriminated against because of their skin color or physical features. They were not excluded from any profession and there was no stigma against mixed race relationships. Classical writers did not attach social status or degree of humanity to skin color.

21Leaning Tower of Pisa

After a 10 year, $40 million projects, the Leaning Tower of Pisa stopped moving for the first time in its 800-year history. The tower is now expected to stay stable for at least 200 years.

22. Galileo's middle finger is up for display at a museum in Florence, Italy.

23. There is a 200 foot stuffed pink bunny with its entrails spilling out over a hill in Italy.

24. The Mona Lisa has no clearly visible eyelashes or eyebrows. In 2007, an engineer used high-resolution scans to show the painting was originally painted with clearly visible eyebrows or eyelashes and they gradually disappeared over time, possibly because of overcleaning.

25. Leonardo da Vinci may have written backward not for secrecy, but because he was left-handed and it was easier for him to do.



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