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Italy; Vatican City; Malta and Gozo


Italy; Vatican City; Malta and Gozo


Overview: Known as the Italian Republic or Repubblica Italiana. Italy's nickname is 'Bel Paese' (beautiful country). It is home to 3 active volcanoes - Etna, Stromboli and Vesuvius. Italy has 20 regions and 6 islands. Both the typewriter and the piano came from Italy.

History: The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe.Italy became one nation in 1861 and since then includes the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. It was a kingdom until 1946. 

Capital: Rome ( often called the 'Eternal City')

Language: Italian, Spanish, Albanian

Food and Drink: Regional delicacies vary but in Italy they do like pizzas ( but perhaps not as we know it), Bottarga, Lasagna, Fiorentina (T-bone) Steak, Ribollita ( a hearty soup), Ossobuco (veal shank with the bone in), Polenta, Carbonara, Risotto, Focaccia (and other bread), truffles, and Arancini. But do not forget their ice-creams, coffees and a variety of things to satisfy the 'sweet tooth'.


Vatican City State

Overview: Vatican City is the smallest sovereign state in the world. It comprises of  less than a half square kilometer. It is the capital of the Catholic world and a spiritual superpower, being also one of the most visited areas in Rome. It is an independent state. The Vatican has its own post office that issues their own stamps and also its own radio station. The Vatican is an absolute monarchy. Full legislative, judicial and executive authority resides with the Pope.

History: The state came into existence on 11th February 1929 by the Lateran Treaty which was between the Holy See and Italy. The dome of the basilica was designed by Michelangelo. It is 400 feet tall and 138 feet in diameter.

Language: Italian, Latin, English, French, Spanish and German.

Food and drink: There are not many restaurants here but are quite a few cafes. Some of the foods eaten here include - Cannoli, Fettuccine Alfredo, Tiramisu, Gelato and Chicken and Mushroom Risotto.


Malta and Gozo

Overview: Officially known as the Republic of Malta. A citizen of Malta is called a Maltese. Malta and Gozo lie about 6 kms away from each other. Another island which is part of Malta lies 5 kms away and is called Filfla.

History: There was once a bridge connecting Malta to Sicily. In 1942 the UK awarded Malta the George Cross because of its bravery during World War II.  The Romans lived here and underground dungeons, churches, rooms, and amphitheaters can be found on Malta.

Capital: Valletta ( for Malta) and for Gozo - - Victoria (Maltese: Il-Belt Victoria, meaning "the city Victoria"

Language: Maltese and English

Food and Drink: Pastizzi (savoury pastry filled with ricotta or mushy peas); Stuffat tal-fenek ( a rabbit stew and the national dish of Malta); Ħobż tal-Malti (sourdough bread); Minestra ( thick vegetable soup); Qagħaq tal-għasel  (Christmas treat); Cassata  ( marzipan cakes); Kapusta ( a form of ratatouille); Ħobż biż-żejt;  Zalzett Tal Malti ( garlic sausages); Timpana ( baked macaroni pie); Prickly pears; Ġbejniet ( local goat's milk cheese and Lampuki (fish) pie can all be tried in Malta.