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Italy's youngsters complain, apparently, about having to live at home until they are 72 but that's because they spend all their money on suits and coffee and Alfa Romeos rather than mortgages ~ Jeremy Clarkson
Italy, my Italy! Queen Mary's saying serves for me. ~ Robert Browning
For wheresoe'er I turn my ravish'd eyes,
Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise,
Poetic fields encompass me around,
And still I seem to tread on classic ground. ~ Joseph Addison
Italians said: 'You're Greater than the Cassius of old'. We like your name, we like your game. So make Rome your home if you will. I said I appreciate your kind hospitality. ~ Muhammad Ali
Italy will take care of itself. ~ Anonymous
You may have the universe if I may have Italy. ~ Giuseppe Verdi

Italy, officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana), is a unitary parliamentary republic in the southern European Union. To the north, Italy borders France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia, and is roughly delimited by the Alpine watershed, enclosing the Po Valley and the Venetian Plain. To the south, it consists of the entirety of the Italian Peninsula and the two Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Sardinia, in addition to many smaller islands. Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 (116,347 sq mi) and has a largely mediterranean climate; due to its shape, it is often referred to in Italy as lo Stivale (the Boot). With 61 million inhabitants, it is the 6th most populous country in Europe. Italy is a very highly developed country and has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and the eighth-largest in the world. Its current head of state is President Sergio Mattarella, and its current head of government is Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

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Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author
  • Bologna la grassa, Firenze la bella, Genova la superba, Lucca l’industriosa, Mantua la gloriosa, Milano la grande, Padova la forte, Pavia la dotta, Veneziala gran mendica, Verona la degna.
  • Bologna the rich (or fat), Florence the beautiful, Genoa the superb, Lucca the busy, Mantua the glorious, Milan the grand, Padua the strong, Pavia the learned, Venice the great beggar, Verona the worthy.


  • For wheresoe'er I turn my ravish'd eyes,
    Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise,
    Poetic fields encompass me around,
    And still I seem to tread on classic ground.
  • Italians said: 'You're Greater than the Cassius of old'.
    We like your name, we like your game,
    So make Rome your home if you will.
    I said I appreciate your kind hospitality,
    But the USA is my country still.
    • Muhammad Ali, poem written after winning the gold medal in the 1960 Olympic Summer Games in Rome, Italy, p. 35


  • Six o'clock already; I was just in the middle of a dream. I was kissing Valentino, by a crystal-blue Italian stream.
  • Speaking of normal visiting hours, Italy doesn't have any, as far as we can tell. Nothing is ever open when it's supposed to be open or closed when it's supposed to be closed, nor does it cost what it's supposed to cost. Also, the buses never seem to go where they're supposed to go. We realize we're making a sweeping generalization here, but as Giraldus Cambrensis so eloquently put it in Topgographia Hibernica, "tough shit." Nevertheless we urge you to spend some time in this country, although as a precautionary measure you should lose a couple of hundred pounds first.
    • Dave Barry, Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need (1991), New York: Fawcett Columbine, p. 146
  • Italy, my Italy!
    Queen Mary's saying serves for me
    (When fortune's malice Lost her Calais)
    "Open my heart and you will see Graved inside of it, 'Italy.'"


  • Italy's youngsters complain, apparently, about having to live at home until they are 72 but that's because they spend all their money on suits and coffee and Alfa Romeos rather than mortgages.


  • In speaking of Italy, romance has omitted for once to exaggerate.
    • Benjamin Disraeli to Isaac Disraeli during his visit to Italy (2 September 1826), quoted in William Flavelle Monypenny and George Earle Buckle, The Life of Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield. Vol. I. 1804–1859 (1929), p. 104
  • [T]he deepest level of hell is reserved for traitors. Why traitors? Because they make life in community impossible. In medieval Italy, cities were in a frequent state of war with each other. When they closed the city gates at night, everybody in the city had to trust that no one would open the gates during the night and let in troops of the enemy. If you could not have that trust, you couldn’t sleep. You couldn’t live, for fear that your neighbor would betray you, and everyone, to the enemy. To render everyone isolated from everyone else, and living in fear — this was hell.


  • Italia, Italia, O tu cui feo la sorte,
    Dono infelice di bellezza, ond' hai
    Funesta dote d'infiniti guai
    Che in fronte scritti per gran dogha porte
    • Italia! O Italia! thou who hast
      The fatal gift of beauty, which became
      A funeral dower of present woes and past,
      On thy sweet brow is sorrow plough'd by shame,
      And annals graved in characters of flame
    • Vicenzo Filicaja, Italia, English rendering by Lord Byron, Childe Harold, Canto IV, St 42.
  • Beyond the Alps lies Italy.
    • James William Foley, Graduation Time Expression found in Livy Ab Urbe Bk 21 30.


  • Throughout all Italy beside,
    What does one find, but Want and Pride?
    Farces of Superstitious folly,
    Decay, Distress and Melancholy:
    The Havock of Despotick Power,
    A Country rich, its owners poor;
    Unpeopled towns, and Lands untilled,
    Bodys uncloathed, and mouths unfilled.
    The nobles miserably great,
    In painted Domes and empty state,
    Too proud to work, too poor to eat,
    No arts the meaner sort employ,
    They nought approve, nor ought enjoy.
    Each blown from misery grows a Saint,
    He prays from Idleness and fast from Want.
    • John Hervey, 2nd Baron Hervey (1729), quoted in Jeremy Black, The British and the Grand Tour, (1985), p. 174


  • L'Italia farà da sé.
    • Italy will take care of itself.
    • Italian proverb; a common expression when Italy was in the process of reunification


  • I was travelling northward, in 1870, after four months spent, for the first time, in Italy. It was the middle of January, and I had found myself, unexpectedly, forced to return to England for the rest of the winter. It was an insufferable disappointment; I was wretched and broken-hearted. Italy appeared to me at that time so much better than anything else in the world, that to rise from table in the middle of the feast was a prospect of being hungry for the rest of my days.
  • A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what it is expected a man should see.


  • [of the Sicilians] They never want to improve. They think themselves perfect. Their vanity is greater than their misery.
  • Italy is, after France and perhaps in the same degree, the land in which love of country has the deepest roots in the hearts of its inhabitants. The fact is that perhaps nowhere else has nature been so prodigal with its enchantments and seductions. Therefore, although Italy has been, since the fall of the Caesars, the object of European covetousness, the eternal battlefield of powerful neighbors, and the theatre of the fiercest and most prolonged civil wars, her children have always refused to leave her. Save for some commercial colonies hastily thrown upon the shores of Asia by Genoa and Venice, history has not, in fact, recorded in Italy any important outward movement of population.


  • France is a country you have to drive through to get to Italy. That's all it's for.
  • We who have seen Italia in the throes,
    Half risen but to be hurled to ground, and now,
    Like a ripe field of wheat where once drove plough,
    All bounteous as she is fair, we think of those
    Who blew the breath of life into her frame:
    Cavour, Mazzini, Garibaldi: Three:
    Her Brain, her Soul, her Sword; and set her free
    ruinous discords, with one lustrous aim.
    • George Meredith, "For the Centenary of Garibaldi", stanza 1, The Times (London, July 1, 1907), p. 9; reprinted in Phyllis B. Bartlett, ed., Poems of George Meredith (1978), p. 790


  • Gli Italiani tutti ladroni.
  • Tutti no... buona parte sì.
    • Not all but a good part (good part is buona parte, intending Buonaparte).
    • Supposed response by a lady who overheard him.
    • Reported in Samuel Taylor, Biographia Literaria, Satyrane's Letters No 2 (Ed 1870). Also reported as "I Francesci son tutti ladri", "Non tutti ma - buona parte" in Pasquin, when the French were in possession of Rome; see Catherine Taylor's Letters from Italy Vol I P 239 (Ed 1840) Quoted also by Charlotte Eaton, Rome in the Nineteenth Cent Vol II P 120 (Ed 1852).


  • On desperate seas long wont to roam,
    Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
    Thy naiad airs have brought me home
    To the glory that was Greece
    And the grandeur that was Rome.
  • Italy, having entered the war for gain and paid dearly in the outcome, emerged from the peace conference with a strong sense of grievance and with its system of government profoundly undermined. Steadily there after it became the endorser and ally of international gangsterism.
    • Robin Prior & Trevor Wilson, The First World War (1999), 2001 paperback edition; ISBN 0–304-35984-X (even though Wikiquote is registering this as an invalid ISBN), p. 213


  • "Look about you, and don't talk nor listen to talking".
  • Italy, and the spring and first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy.


  • How beautiful is sunset when the glow
    Of Heaven descends upon a land like thee,
    Thou Paradise of exiles, Italy!
  • Report of fashions in proud Italy, Whose manners still our apish nation Limps after in base imitation.
  • Comme on craint peu de choquer la vanité, on arrive fort vite en Italie au ton de l'intimité, et à dire des choses personnelles.
    • Because one has little fear of shocking vanity in Italy, people adopt an intimate tone very quickly and discuss personal things.
    • Stendhal, La Chartreuse de Parme (The Charterhouse of Parma) (1839), Chapter 6.
  • In the Hebrew language the letters of the word "Italy" mean "island of divine dew": do we also want to erase the name of our homeland so as not to offend atheists? And the national anthem that calls to God.
  • Antonio Socci, Quei muri appesi ai Crocefissi..., Libero (quoted in the blog Lo Straniero), 4 November 2009.


  • Enough, enough, enough! Say no more! Lump the whole thing! say the Creator made Italy from designs by Michael Angelo!
    • Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad. Twain humorously depicts tourists being told that most every monument in Italy was designed or painted by "Michael Angelo", oblivious to the historic significance of Michelangelo.


  • You may have the universe if I may have Italy.
    • Giuseppe Verdi, reported in Michael Angelo Musmanno, The Story of the Italians in America (1965), p. 255.
  • Sit Romana potens Itala virtute propago
    • Let the Roman offspring be powerful, by Italian valor
    • Virgil , Aeneid, Book XII, line 827.
  • Sum pius Aeneas, raptos qui ex hoste Penates
    classe veho mecum, fama super aethera notus.
    Italiam quaero patriam et genus ab Iove summo
    • I am pious Aeneas, who carries my Penates,
      snatched from the enemy, in my fleet with me, known by my fame above the ether.
      I seek my fatherland, Italy, and a race from highest Jove
    • Virgil , Aeneid, Book I, lines 378-380.


  • In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed - they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love and five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock!
  • L'ltalie est un nom geographique.
    • Italy is only a geographical expression.
    • Klemens Wenzel, Prince von Metternich to Lord Palmerston (1847); reported in his Letter to Count Prokesch-Osten (November 19, 1849), Correspondence of Prokesch II 343; First used by Metternich in his Memorandum to the Great Powers (August 2, 1814).

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  1. Mornings in Florence. George Allen&Sons.May 1911