Italian records. Staying indoors has its positive aspects. Especially as far as knowledge is concerned. Each screen is a window onto the world. And looking out you may discover many things. For example, Italy holds an incredible amount of records. I’ll sit with you during the quarantine and I propose you some.
- In Italy there is the oldest tree in Europe. It is 1230 years old, is a loricate pine and is located in the Pollino national park, between Basilicata and Calabria. It makes us shiver to think that that seed sprouted in the 8th century. That tree looked motionless at the time of Charlemagne, feudalism, the Renaissance, the advent of modernity, the industrial revolution, the technological revolution. And it’s still there, watching what’s happening to us now.
- The oldest university in the world is in Italy. In Bologna, to be exact. Although it is debated whether the al-Qarawiyyin University of Fez, Morocco, which is previous, can be considered a university, being actually a religious school, it remains that in Bologna the very concept of university was born, back in 1088. And it’s still there.
- The shortest river in the world is the Aril river, also known as Ri, one of the 25 inlets of Lake Garda. It is located in Malcesine, in the province of Verona and is just 175 meters long.
4. The longest existing republic in history has experienced its vicissitudes in Italy. This is the Serenissima Republic of Venice, founded in 697 and improvidently ended by Napoleon in 1797. A republic lived exactly 1,100 years, a container of timeless stories and flavors.
5. Italy the top countries when it comes to total UNESCO-protected sites. With 53 places, one more than China, which ranks second. From the Rock Art of Val Camonica to the Church and the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie and to the ‘Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci, from the Arab-Norman Palermo and the cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale to the vineyard landscapes of Piedmont, Langhe-Roero and Monferrato; from the Medici Villas to the Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna… The whole Italy is an anthology of places declared a World Heritage Site.
Many more Italian records await us …