Italy: Leaning Tower of Pisa, Michelangelo, & Biscotti
Do you want to know more about Italy? Are you a lover of travel, geography teacher, homeschooling or involved parent, student, or life-long learner? In an effort to make world geography more meaningful and memorable, I've compiled all you will need to locate Italy on a map, cook an Italian meal, watch YouTube clips on Italy, color the flag, create an Italian craft, read a great book about Italy, and more!
I've been to Italy. Have you visited Italy yet?
I've been to Italy. Have you visited Italy yet?
Where is Italy?
Locate Italy on this map of Europe. Use this map of Italy to label the capitol, Rome. Mark other relevant features (rivers, mountains, famous locations, etc.) if desired. If you'd like to spend a bit more time researching the country, you can add the language, currency, type of government, religion, and/or famous landmarks. Write them on the back of the map. You can easily find all this information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italy.
Fun facts about Italy
Amongst the famous personalities that have been born in Italy are Niccolo Machiavelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Antonio Stradivari, Donatello, Fra Angelico, Archimedes, Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Bernini, and many others.
Bubonic Plague killed one-third of the Italian population in the 14th century.
The average consumption of pasta in Italy is 55 pounds per person per year.
The viola, violin, cello, piano, mechanical clock, barometer, thermometer, optical glasses, and many other items were invented by Italians.
Visit Italy on YouTube
Travel Guide - Rome, Italy
Italy Travel Skills
Rome, Italy: Borghese Gallery
Rick Steve's Christmas: Italy
Amalfi Coast, Italy: A Cliff Top Drive
Florence, Italy: Uffizi Gallery
Pompeii, Italy: Window on Ancient Rome
Rome, Italy: Ancient Wonders
Italians enjoy their meal and like to eat slowly in courses. First serve your antipasto (appetizer), Bruschetta. Next serve your primo (1st course), Italian Wedding Soup. Then serve your secondo (second course), Chicken Agrodolce along with your contorno (side dish) of an Italian salad (lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and a vinaigrette dressing). Next serve your formaggroe frutta course of a few pieces of cheese (choose any Italian cheese or use cubes of mozzarella cheese if serving to younger children) and fruit (grapes). Next comes the dolce (dessert) course of biscotti. Finish up with a cup of Italian coffee, hot tea, and/or hot chocolate. To accompany your meal, you may serve mineral water, white wine, and/or white grape juice.
- 6 diced roma tomatoes
- 2 minced cloves garlic
- 2 peeled cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper 8 slices Italian bread cut about 1 inch thick
- 2 tablespoons grated parmigiano-reggiano or parmesan cheese
- Whisk together chopped garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and basil. When combined slowly drizzle in oil. Add tomatoes and let sit for 20 minutes at room temp. Meanwhile, toast the bread by broiling for about 3 minutes. (Watch closely so it doesn't become a burn). When the bread is toasted, rub each piece, on one side, with the whole garlic pieces. Place the bread on a cookie sheet and top with tomato mixture. If desired, broil for 1-2 minutes to melt the cheese. (This recipe came from food.com.)
Primo: Italian Wedding Soup
If you're short on time, simply use a can of Campbell's Italian Wedding soup.
- 1/2 lb lean ground beef
- 1 egg (slightly beaten)
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 5 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups chopped escarole or 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1/2 cup orzo pasta (uncooked)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
- grated parmesan cheese
- In medium bowl combine, meat, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, basil& onion powder; shape into 3/4" balls. In large sauce pan, heat broth to boiling; stir in spinach, orzo, carrot& meatballs. Return to boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook at slow boil for 10 minutes or until orzo is tender. Stir frequently to avoid sticking. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. (This recipe came from food.com.)
Secondo: Chicken Agrodolce
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. allspice
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup dry white wine or apple juice
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper (about a tsp. each)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons toasted pignolis (pine nuts) or silvered almonds
- Dip each chicken breast in a bowl of flour to coat. In a large skillet, saute floured chicken breasts in olive oil with the whole garlic, bay leaves and allspice until chicken is browned. Remove chicken to a plate. Add to the skillet the honey, vinegar and wine/apple juice; cook to reduce slightly, about 10 minutes on medium-high heat. Return chicken to skillet, add orange and lemon juices, salt and pepper, and cook about another 20 minutes or until chicken is done and sauce is reduced slightly. Remove garlic and bay leaves. Add pine nuts or almonds. Delicious with angel hair pasta or risotto. (This recipe came from food.com.)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons Amaretto (OR 2 Tbsp. rum with 1 tsp. almond extract OR 1 Tbsp. almond extract)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon anise extract (optional)
- 1 cup toasted and coarsely chopped almonds or hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Mix together the dry ingredients and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, amaretto (if using, or the almond extract and rum), vanilla and anise extracts. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. The dough will be thick and sticky. DO NOT add more flour! Scrape the dough out onto a parchment lined sheet pan into an approximately 10x5 inch log. Bake until firm and dry, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool 10 minute. Use a long serrated knife and slice into 1/2-inch wide slices. Lay the slices cut side down on the baking sheet and bake another 20 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake 20 minutes more, or until the cookies are a light golden brown. Cool the biscotti on a rack; cool completely before storing. (This recipe came from food.com.)
Construct the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Read a book about Italy
An excellent introduction to the richness of Italian history and culture! For each letter of the alphabet, it has a short description (perfect for preschoolers) and a longer explanation (if you have older listeners). We loved the illustrations!
This classic picture book captures the spirit and sights of Rome as it covers life in Rome from early times through the 1960's. Also look for "This is Venice" by the same author. These books were written in the 1960's, so they include what you stereotypically think of when you think of Rome or Venice.
The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola is a delightful reading of the favorite Italian Christmas story about an eccentric old woman and her never-ending search for the Baby King. Michelangelo (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists) by Mike Venezia is part of a delightful series that covers the lives of many artists, including most of the great Italian artists, and presents their lives and work in a fun manner that appeals to children, both young and old.
Pray for the people of Italy
To find out about the religious nature of Italy and specific ways you can pray for the country, go to operationworld.org.
Other countries starting with the letter I
Would you prefer to study a different country? Try one of these.
Ready to visit other countries?
Go to Around the World in 26 Letters to find links to all the countries we "visited." Each webpage features a menu, craft, books, video clips, worksheets, and more!