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Trivia Solution Page

(...fret no more...)


Astronomy, Exploration, & Transportation: Italian Discoveries of New Worlds

1. On August 3, 1492 Columbus set sail with ninety sailors and three ships on his first voyage of discovery. Name his three ships.  

Santa Maria, Nina and Pinta


2. Born in Genoa around 1450, I am known for my service to the English crown and for claiming land that would become the first American colonies. Who am I? 

John Cabot, born Giovanni Caboto (1450 – 1498)


3. In Italy, what does the street sign “Senso Unico” signify?            

One-way street


4. What is the name for highways and expressways in Italy?



Cuisine & Culinary Contributions: The Essence of Italian Food and Drink

5. This Italian sparkling wine, produced in the regions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto, is made from a variety of late-ripening white grapes. Name this wine. 



6. Many Italians like to put anisette or sambuca into what drinks? 

Espresso or cappuccino


7. What is the name for the noontime meal eaten by Italians? 

Pranzo or Seconda Colazione


8. In 1917, Achille Gaggia of Milan invented a high-pressure machine to replace the outdated steam machine. This invention, even more popular today, produces a more flavorful and intense drink while reducing the time needed to produce it. Name the drink this machine produces. 



Eonomics, Money, & Business: The Rise of Italian Commerce and Wealth

9. In which Italian city was the oldest bank in the world, Banca Monte Paschi, founded in 1472? 



10. The art of shoemaking began in which Italian city in the 12th century? 



11. Textile manufacturing is Italy’s second largest manufacturing industry. What is the largest manufacturing industry in Italy?

Auto manufacturing


12. Italy was the first European nation to mint what type of currency in 1998?



Holidays, Traditions, & People: Uncovering Italian Customs and Civic Life

13. Born in Modena on October 12, 1935, I am known as one of the greatest tenors of all time and recognized for my ease at hitting the difficult high C notes with repetition. Who am I? 

Luciano Pavarotti (1935 – 2007)


14. What do the three colors—green, white and red—of the Italian flag represent?

Green is for liberty and hope, white is for virtue and faith and red is for courage and charity.


15. What is an “edicola sacra”? 

Sacred niches or small roadside shrines along Italian roads


16. In Italy, school is compulsory until what age? 

Age 14


Holy Catholic Church & The Vatican: Little Known Facts and Figures

17. What pagan tradition in ancient Rome led to gift giving by Christians at Christmas time?

Saturnalia. During the feast of Saturnalia from December 17th through December 23rd, gifts were exchanged to honor the god Saturn.


18. What is the name for the skullcap worn by bishops and other prelates?



19. Who is the patron saint of Milan?

Saint Ambrose


20. During the early days of the Christian Church when persecution was wide-spread and frequent, what food did Christians serve as a secret code to identify other Christians? 



Government, Organization, & Leadership: Trailblazing Italian Statesmen and Their Contributions

21. How many linguistic minorities are recognized by the Italian constitution and laws?

Twelve. The new legislation which was passed just before Christmas (1999/2000), protects the language and the culture of all twelve indigenous linguistic minorities living in Italy. These twelve minorities include: Albanians, Catalans, Croatians, French, Franco-Provencal, Friulians, Germanophone groups, Greeks, Ladins, Occitans, Sarinians and Slovens.


22. The mysterious Etruscans are thought to have immigrated from Eastern Europe or perhaps from Asia Minor. Approximately when did Etruscan society begin in Italy and how long did it last? 

Began around 800 to 900 B.C. and lasted about 700 years before being absorbed by the Romans.


23. What aspect of the U.S. electoral system is based on the ancient Roman Republic form of election?

Use of the electoral college



24. Born in Nice on July 4, 1807, I am known as one of the fathers of Italian unification with the Italian National Anthem named in honor of me. Who am I? 

Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807 – 1882)


Italian Americans & Immigration: Italian Heritage and People Outside of Italy

25. Born Concetta Franconero in 1938, this legendary Italian American music star sung such hits as Who’s Sorry Now and Where the Boys Are (1963). Name her.

Connie Francis


26. This Italian American, a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law, is the first American of Italian heritage to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Name him. 

Antonin Scalia, the son of Sicilian parents


27. Which American singer was born Frank Paul Lo Vecchio?

Frankie Lane


28. Which two great leaders of the American Revolution were fluent in the Italian language?        

Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin


Language, Literature, & Philosophy: Investigating Italian Communication and Expression

29. What is the name for the language group that is based on the Latin language? 

Romance languages


30. Julius Caesar was frequently quoted as saying “Veni, Vidi, Vici”. This expression was first spoken by Caesar to report his victory over Pharnaces, King of Pontus, in 47 BC. What is the English translation?

I came, I saw, I conquered (In italiano: Venni, Vidi, Conquistai -- Passato Remoto)


31. What does an Italian say when he sends you good wishes?



32. Alessandro Manzoni (1785 – 1873), considered the greatest writer since the Renaissance, is credited with helping to foster the Tuscan dialect as the modern Italian national language and pushing for Italian unification. Name his 1827 masterpiece book that he is most remembered. 

I Promessi Sposi (in English, The Betrothed)


33. The English word “music” is derived from the Italian word “musica”, which itself is derived from the word “mousike”. From what language does “mousike” originate?



Military History & Contributions: Pivotal Battles and Wars that Shook the Landscape

34. The victory over the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 signaled the rise of which city-state? 



35. Approximately how many years did the ancient Romans colonize and occupy modern-day England? 

475 years, ending in 420 A.D.


36. Who were considered the most revered, and therefore most expensive, of all ancient Roman slaves? 

Educated Greeks


37. During World War II, who were the Partigiani? 

Partisans, or rebel fighters, fighting the Fascist regime


Music, Art, & Architecture: Exploring Italian Masters of Craft

38. How long did Leonardo da Vinci take to paint the Mona Lisa? 

Three years, from 1503 to 1506


39. Where can you find a replica of the statue of David? 

Florence, near the Palazzo Vecchio


40. This literary great was the first to write a major literary work in the vernacular rather than in Latin. He is also considered the father of the Italian language. Name him. 

Dante Alighieri (1265 – 1321)


41. What is Michelangelo’s last name? 



Sciences, Biology, & Invention: Contributions Italians Have Given to the World

42. The first medical school in the Western world was established in the 9th century in which Italian city? 

Salerno (Sicily), at the University of Salerno


43. Resveratrol, an anti-oxidant in wine, is said to help slow what biological process? 



44. This type of instruction book was introduced in the early 17th century by Agostini Agazzari. What type of instruction did this book provide? 



45. According to Roman mythology, this goddess of flowers is synonymous with flowers and vegetation from a particular area. Name this goddess. 



Sports, Leisure, & Fashion: Italian Entertainment, Pastime, and Lifestyle

46. What element of design did the ancient Romans incorporate into shoes around 200 B.C.? 

Shoes crafted with one designed for the right foot and one designed for the left foot


47. Born in Rome on September 29, 1901, I am known for my groundbreaking work with atomic particles, which lead to the development of the atomic bomb. In 1938, I received the Nobel Prize for this work. Who am I?

Enrico Fermi (1901 – 1954)


48. Venetians are known for their skill in crafting glass. What unique type of glass did they introduce that made looking through glass much easier? 

Colorless glass


49. What article of clothing did Italians invent that originated from the Italian comic character, Saint Pantaleone? 

Pants or trousers


Travel, Destinations, & Geography: Revealing Italian Hotspots and Spectacular Locations


50. Naples was founded by the ancient Greeks and given the name “Neapolis”. What does this mean in Greek? 

“New City”


51. What mighty river runs through both Florence and Pisa?



52. In Latin, the word for this place means “tellers of the future”. During ancient Roman times, the location where this place now sits was once home to fortunetellers. What stands on this location today? 

Vatican City (Vaticano from Latin VATICINARI=to foresee, PREDIRE)


53. This hilltop town of Umbria was known as Volsinii by its Etruscan founders. Below the town in caves you can find ancient 9th century B.C. settlements from the Etruscans. Today this town is known for their excellent wines. Name this town. 




54. How many Italian cities have populations of over one million and which cities are they? 

Four—Rome, Milan, Naples, and Turin


Adapted from: Scott Paul Frush "Ultimate Italian Trivia: A Treasure Trove of Fun and Fascinating Facts."

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