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Culture of Italy: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Italy is a country in Europe filled with history and culture. In this lesson, discover what makes Italy so special, including its food, arts, architecture, and people!

Travel to Italy

Chances are, you've probably experienced Italian culture without even living there. This European country is shaped like a boot and is mostly coastal due to the fact that it is surrounded by large bodies of water, including the Mediterranean Sea. The unique history of Italy has influenced its people today, so let's learn more about this special culture.

History and Architecture

Italy has a very significant history, full of scientific discovery. Galileo was an Italian scientist who made many incredible discoveries. Leonardo da Vinci studied many areas of science, including meteorology, which is the study of weather. He was a pretty amazing artist as well. More on that later!

The main religion of Italy is Roman Catholic, and this had a big influence on the type of architecture or buildings constructed in Italy. Cathedrals are Catholic churches common throughout the country, full of beautiful stained glass and details. The most famous cathedral is the Vatican, which is home to the Pope, the leader of the Catholic church.

The Vatican is a cathedral located in Rome that is home to the Pope.
Roman cathedral

Arts

Italy is home to some of the most historical and famous artists of all time. Maybe you've heard of a painting called the Mona Lisa? This artwork was painted by that Italian you read about earlier, Leonardo da Vinci.

In addition to paintings, many Italian artists were famous for their sculptures, such as Michelangelo. He used large heavy slabs of rock called marble to carve sculptures to resemble important people.

One form of art that is very popular in Italy is opera. These performances are stories that are set to music, and actors sing the stories in theaters to an audience. Today it is a favorite pastime of Italians to go to the opera in the evening.

Food, Food, and More Food!

Italy may be best known for its pasta. Noodles made from flour are served all kinds of ways, with different sauces and seasonings. Pizza is also a famous Italian food, and it is made with different toppings. Your pizza might be made one way in northern Italy, and a totally different way in the south!

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