Alessandro del Piero Born in 1974, del Piero plays for Juventus in Turin, in the north of Italy. Del Piero holds the goal-scoring record at Juventus, where he has scored 188 goals. He also has 91 caps for the Italian national team.
Francesco Totti Totti was born in Rome in 1976 and has played for Roma since he was in the youth team there as a teenager. He is fiercely proud of his home city and says he will never leave. He has appeared for Italy 58 times.
Luciano Pavarotti Probably the most famous tenor of all time, Pavarotti was born in 1935. His greatest commercial success was ‘Nessun Dorma’ which he performed for the 1990 World Cup which was held in Italy. He died in 2007, aged 71.
Botticelli Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) was a famous painter during the Renaissance period. His most famous painting is ‘The Birth of Venus’ which can be seen in the Uffizi gallery in Florence.
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo (1452-1519) was born in the village of Vinci in Tuscany. He is probably most famous for the Mona Lisa ( La Gioconda ). However, as well as painting da Vinci was also a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, sculptor, architect, musician and writer!
Michelangelo Michelangelo (1475-1564) is another famous artist from the Renaissance period. He created a number of famous pieces, including the sculpture of David, and some of the most famous frescos (another Italian word!) in the history of art.
Madonna However, Madonna is also the Italian term for the Virgin Mary. Madonna Ciccone (of Italian origin) is the famous American singer.
Andrea Bocelli Bocelli is a famous Italian tenor who has appeared in concerts all around the world. He was born with problems with his sight, and became completely blind aged 12, after an accident when playing football.
vivace ‘ vivace’ literally means quick or lively. It is used as a musical term to indicate that a piece of music should be played in a lively mood.
opera The art form of opera began in Italy at the end of the 16th century. Many famous works of opera were written in Italian, by composers such as Mozart, Puccini and Verdi.
soprano The soprano is usually the highest range of female voice(s) in an opera or choral piece.
lasagne A dish from the Emilia-Romagna area of Northern Italy, lasagne usually consists of layers of pasta with meat sauce (known as ragù in Italian), tomato sauce, bechamel sauce and mozzarella.
gelato This famous dessert is thought to have originated in Sicily, an island in the south of Italy.
pasta There are approximately 350 different shapes of pasta and each area of Italy has its own specialities.
macaroni Correctly spelt maccheroni in Italian, these are a different shape in Italy to the small tubes we have here. Also, macaroni cheese is very much a British invention - I’ve never met an Italian who has heard of it!
spaghetti Long, thin strips of pasta which are eaten all over Italy. The famous spaghetti bolognese is known as spaghetti con ragù in Italian and is from Bologna (hence the English name!).
pizza It is thought (although often debated) that pizza originated in Naples, in Southern Italy.
panino The word panini which we now use to mean a toasted sandwich in English just means filled roll s . In Italy you would ask for a panin o .
Chianti Probably the most famous Italian wine, this red wine is produced in Tuscany to the south of Florence.
Asti Spumante An Italian (cheaper) version of French champagne which Italians drink at celebrations - New Year, weddings, etc. Asti is town in the North of Italy where this wine is produced.
Amaretto A sweet almond liqueur, most famous here for its use in cakes and desserts.
cappuccino An espresso topped with frothy milk, and occasionally chocolate powder. The cappuccino is said to be named after the white hood ( cappuccio ) on the robes of monks. Be warned - if you just ask for a caffé in Italy you will be given an espresso!