• Vatican City!

    Vatican City: Vatican Museums. Go Now!

    Vatican City
    The smallest country in the world offers the heart of Catholicism and among the world's finest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms (ceiling pictured). Go to Vatican City!

  • Albania!

    Albania: Village of Theth! Go Now!

    Albania is unique in Europe, starting with its Muslim heritage, but expanding to include food, culture, and even its natural beauty. Explore Albania!

  • Netherlands!

    Netherlands: Wooden shoes. Go Now!

    This low country might be small, but it maintains a unique place in history and culture. Explore the Netherlands!

  • Ukraine!

    Ukraine: Traditional Village. Go Now!

    Ukrainian culture is based on village life, particularly that found in the Carpathian Mountains (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Latvia!

    Latvia: Art Nouveau in Riga. Go Now!

    Latvia is small, but has a diverse history, foods, and architecture (shown), which includes aspects from both Eastern and Western Europe. Begin Your Journey!

  • Germany!

    Germany: Town Hall. Go Now!

    Food, beer, natural beauty, and more create a country that's known for its distinct culture and history. Go Now!

Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Italy


Italians are an ethnic group which is quite varied from one region to the next, but arguably one ethnic group none-the-less. The common thread among them is their ties to Rome in the ancient times and the Latinization and unification of the entire peninsula, making transportation more easily accessible. For the most part, ethnic Italians are simply a combination of all the local people on the peninsula at that time and those who arrived due to the wide-reaching net of the Roman Empire. Italians are, therefore, essentially a combination of the indigenous people like the Etruscans and the settlers who arrive at various times, like the Greeks, Jews, Germans, and other Mediterranean people. Sometimes the Italians are considered Latin in an ethnic sense so are related, to varying degrees, to other Latin people, including the Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Romanians among others.


Italian is the official language of Italy. This language is a Latin-based language, commonly referred to as a Romance language today. Although based on Latin, having been in contact with many different languages and cultures over time, Italian today is quite different from Latin and is perhaps more closely related to French, which is also related to Latin. More distant languages include Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian.

Most people in Italy are taught English in schools, but the degree to which they learn the language varies substantially, although most young people have at least a basic understanding of the language. French and German are also commonly taught second languages, especially closer to the borders of those two countries.


The majority of the population of Italy is Catholic. There are significantly smaller minority groups of Protestants and some immigrating Muslims.

Catholicism is a Christian religion that is one of the first Christian religions (founded after the death of Jesus in about 30-33 AD). Catholicism believes that there is a single God who created everything, a savior, the son of God, Jesus Christ who is the forgiver of sins, and there is the Holy Spirit, which makes up the last part of the Holy Trinity. Catholics follow the teachings of the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments. Much of the faith is based on the life and teachings of Jesus, which is found in the gospels (in the New Testament).

Continue reading on Safari the Globe to Learn the Catholic Church's doctrines, liturgy, symbolism, traditions, & hierarchy

This page was last updated: May, 2014