Italian culture is a potent cocktail of art, sport and music. As
the site of the Renaissance, Italy has produced many of the finest
masters of sculpture, painting and architecture in history.
Household names such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael
were all born in Italy and many of their works still adorn the
monuments and buildings of the Renaissance era including
Michelangelo's work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and
Raphael's work in the Palace of the Vatican.
As for music, Italy was the birthplace of opera and the operatic
form, with an impressive list of opera composers such as Giuseppe
Verdi and Claudio Monteverdi hailing from Italy. Many of the most
famous operas in the world are written in Italian and set in Italy
including the Marriage of Figaro and Rigoletto. As with much of
Europe, Italy's main sport is football. Italians are particularly
passionate about football and international tournaments can bring
everyday life to a standstill, especially in the rural regions.
Their national side is known as the 'azurri' which is 'blue' in
Italian, after the colour which the team wears. Some of the biggest
teams in Italian club football include Juventus, Inter Milan and