Things to Know

Italian Republic
Repubblica Italiana

A democratic republic

Capital:Rome which is often called the 'Eternal City'.

Offical Language: Italian

Flag of Italy

Where is Italy?

Italy is in Southern Europe, and consist of a peninsula shaped like a boot that extends into the central Mediterranean Sea. Also part of Italy are the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Elba.

It juts out of southern Europe into the Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, and other waters.


The sea surroundes Italy. Mountains crisscross Italy dividing it into regions. Italy is mostly rugged and mountainous with the Alps in northern Italy and the Apennine Mountains stretching from the north to the south of Italy along its east coast. There are some plains and coastal lowlands in Italy.

Italy is a fairly fertile area and people have lived there for a long time.


Predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north which is cold in the winter and hot in the summer ; hot, dry in south.

Italy Map

Ancient Rome

Rome is the capital of Italy and known as the Eternal City.

Rome was the capital of the ancient world. The Roman Empire was massive extending from England to Germany, and from Turkey to Iraq and northern Africa.

All roads lead to Rome" is a famous saying that was true in ancient times.

Rome is built on seven hills east of the Tiber river. The original city is said to have been built in 753 BCE and was built on the Palatine Hill.

Rome began as a small city and grew into the powerful Roman Empire. Rome was founded in 753 BC. Roman legend is that the city-state of Rome was founded by a young man named Romulus.

The Ancient Romans gave us:

Latin, our modern calendar, roads, public libraries, art, window glass, indoor plumbing, underfloor heating, concrete, sewers, aqueducts, arched bridges, domes, glass mirrors, roman numerals, legal system, philosophy, literature, languages, and a whole lot more.

Below are websites to visit to learn more about Ancient Rome

What The Romans Did For Us - a funny and educational poem

BBC-Roman Empire
Primary and secondary levels. A fanstasic website for children and teachers with facts, videos, and learner guides.

History for Kids-Discover Ancient Rome
A large and thorough history of Ancient Rome for children.

If you want to explore more of the history of Rome and ancient Romans below are some links.

BBC School-Romans
History, timeline, print out games and more...

History For Kids- Ancient Rome

You Wouldn't Want To Be A Roman Gladiator


The renaissance began in Italy in the city-state of Florence Between 1300 and 1600 Europe was transformed. It was a time of artistic and cultural innovation.
PBS Overview-The Renaissance


Leonardo da Vinci lived during the time of the Renaissance. He was a painter, sculptor, inventor, architect, musician, engineer, mathematician, and scientist.

Leonardo da Vinci coded message

Print and solve the Leonardo da Vinci coded message at Crayola.

Explore Leonardo’s Inventor's Workshop

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo is best known as an artist and is considered one of the greatest painters of all time. He is best known for his realistic portraits.

To Do
Have children create self-portraits.


The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper are two of da Vinci's famous paintings

The Last Supper by da Vinci
The Last Supper
Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa

Today Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa is in the Louve Museum in Paris, France. In 1911 the Mona Lisa was stolen off the wall of the Louvre. Read: The Mona Lisa Was Stolen!

Statue of David
Peita (Michelangelo)

Michelangelo Buonarroti

Michelangelo was born in 1475 and came from a noble Florentine family. He was an Italian sculptor, painter, and architect, and is one of the greatest artists of all time.

Michelangelo is best known for his sculptures and frescos (painting on wet plaster).

One of Michelangelo's most famous sculptures is David, the biblical hero who defeated Goliath.

Statue of David
David (Michelangelo)

Learn more about Michelangelo

To Do

Soap Carving
Need: Ivory soap (a soft soap). Tools such as popsicle sticks, butter knives, spoons, nails, screwdriver, unsharpened pencil.

Soap Carving for Kids

Fresco projects that are child safe

Fresco Project

Crayola Family Fresco

Michelangelo's most famous paintings is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican in Italy. The painting is panels illustrating scenes from the bible which Michelangelo painted directly onto the ceiling. He painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling while lying on his back!

Sistine Chapel Ceiling

To Do

Creation of Adam (Michelangelo) Lesson
Tape drawing paper to the bottom of tables and paint (or use crayons) as if the drawings were on the ceiling of the chapel.

Sistine Chapel ceiling color pages - tape to underside of the table and color

Michelangelo Painting Activity - One-point perspective drawing

Music Review

Kim Maerkl: Amati's Dream
Kim Maerkl (Author/Composer), Sir Roger Moore (Narrator), Key-Thomas Maerkl (Violin)

Kim Maerkl: Amati's Dream

Go back in time and be drawn into the world of 17th-century Italy and the shop of the great violin maker Nicolo Amati and his apprentice Raphael. Raphael is learning the luthier's trade and secretly dreams of being a violinist. A captivating story and music that wonderfully expresses the emotions of the story. An exceptional CD and absolutely gorgeous!

Click Kim Maerkl: Amati's Dream to order.



Italy has a variety of industries : clothes, shoes and furniture designers; auto, computer and electronic equipment manufacturing; and tourism.

Italy is famous for its olive oil , grapes, tomatoes, and cheeses. Olive trees grow on the mountainsides in southern Italy. Grapes are used to make wine as Italy is one of the largest wine producers in the world. Italian cheeses like parmesan and mozzarella are also popular around the world.


Italian ABC's For Children
Illustrated Italian alphabet with audio

Italian Numbers For Children
Illustrated Italian numbers with audio

Italian Colors

Vatican City

Vatican City is located in Rome, Italy. Vatican City is not part of Italy, it is an independent country. The Pope is the head of the Roman Catholic Church and he lives in the Vatican City.



The Adventures of Pinocchio
by Carlo Collodi


Pizza Game


Easy, authentic Italian recipes.

Color Pages

Pinocchio Activity Pages
Color Pages, Marionette Craft Page, and more Activity Pages.

Italian Art and Artists color pages

Outline map of Italy

Flag of Italy to color

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