The tower of Pisa is most famously known for it’s distinctive lean (and the horrible pictures that are often taken with hundreds of tourists). The reason behind the tilt is the ground was not strong enough to hold up the tower completely straight. The tower when measured on one side would be 183 feet, and the other (due to the lean) is 185 feet! One of the most famous events that have happened regarding the tower is (reportedly) Galileo Galilei dropping two cannonballs of varying mass at the same time from the tower to demonstrate the speed of falling is not dependent on the mass of the object. More recently, teams of engineers have been working on stabilizing the tower, because without it, it was structurally unsafe. The Leaning Tower of Pisa leans at an angle of 3.99 Degrees, but before the re-stabilization work, it leaned at an angle of 5.5 Degrees. If the tower was perfectly straight, the top of the tower would be 12 feet and 10 inches higher than what it stands at currently. Interestingly enough, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, is not the only famous leaning structure, but it most definitely the most well known!
Food is a staple of Italian culture, and is probably the most popular type of food in the world. Everyone loves at least one staple of Italian food, from pasta to pizza, there is an Italian food for everyone. There are many key parts of most Italian food, namely being Olive Oil, Tomatoes, fresh herbs, and cheese. Many Italian foods utilize tomatoes and tomato based sauces to maximum effect. Wine is also a staple of Italian culture and cuisine. Italy has many famous wines, and is well known for its vineyards, which date back to Roman times, although Greeks were creating wine in the Italian region even before the Romans came into existence. There are many famous wines that come from Italy, including; Moscato and Pinot Grigio. Italian cuisine is also known for it’s desserts and sweets! Namely, gelato, cannoli, panna cotta, and various forms of coffee. My personal favorite being the divine cannoli, although cannolis are actually Sicilian in origin. Cappucino and espresso are widely known as Italian as well. All in all, Italy has a huge culture, and a huge part of the huge culture is cuisine. Italian food is known and celebrated world-wide. Italian food can be sweet, savory, and everything in between, and that’s why it is some of my favorite food around.
Growing up, I was raised as an American child. Football, baseball, occasionally hockey, and of course, golf, were the sports I had known the best. My father played soccer all through high school, and was a smalltime soccer fan. But I never picked up on soccer. I had thought it looked boring, and in my opinion, just plain dumb. All of that changed when my dad came home from Iraq with a bootleg Inter kit.The black and blue stripes and the collar on the shirt was so amazing to me. I instantly went to the computer and looked up this foreign name. I was astounded by soccer from that very instant on. After moving to Washington, DC, I fell in love with playing the game. I spent hours outside at the park with random people just playing pick up games. Inter Milan has had a rich history of soccer in Italy, many greats have played there, and before discovering the Premier League, was my favorite team. Italy is rich in soccer history, winning 4 world cups, and countless other awards. Italy is a well known soccer state, and with soccer becoming even more popular around the world, it’s only sure to become a bigger powerhouse in the soccer world. Inter Milan inspired me to begin to play soccer, so in a round about way, Italy inspired me!
Rome has always been of particular interest to me. Since I was a grade school student, I thought the Romans were the meanest, coolest guys around. But the city of Rome has much more history than just the capital of the Roman Empire. It’s also a historical, and cultural capital of the world. The city of Roma has so much history surrounding it. Rome’s history stretches back 2500 years, to it’s founding in 753 BC. Rome also houses Vatican City, which is essentially the capital of all Catholicism. Rome is an old city, that still stands a purpose today! Roma is now the capital of Italy. Roma also has beautiful architecture, and many standing buildings from the Roman rule! But even with those Roman buildings, there is also architecture that spans history. There’s neoclassicism influence, renaissance influences, and even buildings built by the fascists during Mussolini’s reign. Rome is truly a city that has spanned time and withstood all of the pressures of history.
By: Shane Watson
Italy has always been an interesting place, and topic to me. In my opinion, it has one of the richest histories, the richest culture, and some of the most interesting historical figures. I have some Italian in me, but none of my family comes straight from Italy. I decided to take this class in order to learn not only the language, but also about the culture. Italy has played a major part in history, from Rome to World War 2, Italy has been involved. The culture of Italy is also something very impressive to me. With the Italian immigrants to the United States, we have received much of their culture, mostly regarding food. True Italian food is delicious. Throughout history, Italy has had some of the most prominent figures. Figures such as Niccolo Machiavelli, numerous popes and many heads of religion, Emperors such as Nero and Julius Caesar.
Italy is a very special place with a very special background and an amazing culture, and I am looking forward to learning even more about it all.