Quiz about Cryptic Italian Cities
Quiz about Cryptic Italian Cities

Cryptic Italian Cities Trivia Quiz


What could be challenging about naming ten major cities in Italy? Well, if the questions are phrased cryptically, that might be one way! The quiz uses common cryptic crossword key words and clue types. Explanations of the answers are also provided.

A multiple-choice quiz by Team Phoenix Rising. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
MikeMaster99
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
410,803
Updated
Nov 06 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
9 / 10
Plays
112
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: bluepeter46 (10/10), dippo (9/10), 2ruse (9/10).
Author's Note: Please note that standard English spelling is used for the city names in this quiz. If you use the Italian names, many of the clues will not work!
1. Seeing part of the Adige River on a budget. (6 letters)

Answer: (One Word)
2. Did Ms Nightingale begin her nursing activities in this Tuscan city? (8 letters)

Answer: (One Word)
3. My mixed up brother's daughter takes five on her visit to this city on the Adriatic. (6 letters)

Answer: (One Word)
4. Baloney - that's a sausage from the Emilia-Romagna region! (7 letters)

Answer: (One word)
5. Greek letter then returns as the site for a tilted edifice. (4 letters)

Answer: (One Word)
6. Planes scrambled in the vicinity of Vesuvius. (6 letters)

Answer: (One Word)
7. Columbus said 'Remove me from part of the genome, a study to be avoided!' (5 letters)

Answer: (One Word)
8. Cut short the odd main learning objectives about soccer from A.C. or Inter perhaps. (5 letters)

Answer: (One Word)
9. No go in touring this city in search of the shroud. (5 letters)

Answer: (One Word)
10. I've heard this is what the buffalo do here when they're home on the range. (4 letters)

Answer: (One Word)

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Seeing part of the Adige River on a budget. (6 letters)

Answer: Verona

Solution: The key to the answer was 'seeing part of' (a series of consecutive letters, not neccesarily in a single word) the statement 'adige riVER ON A budget'. The secondary clue in there was the Adige River on which the city lies.

Sitting on the Adige River in Veneto in northern Italy is where you will find Verona, a city that has a wonderful history in pursuing the arts, is famous for its opera season and was, at one time, one of the most prosperous and powerful cities in Italy. It is one of the country's biggest tourist draw cards and is also notable for featuring prominently in two of William Shakespeare's plays; the tragedy "Romeo & Juliet" (1597) and to balance it out, the comedy "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" (1593). Thanks to its amazing architecture and urban structure, the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in the year 2000.

This question was written by Phoenix Rising's pollucci19 who manages to separate "Romeo & Juliet" from COVID-19 by telling himself that one is a Corona virus and the other's a Verona crisis.
2. Did Ms Nightingale begin her nursing activities in this Tuscan city? (8 letters)

Answer: Florence

Solution: The answer relies on drawing the link between the first name of famous nurse Florence Nightingale and the Italian city (in Tuscany) of the same name.

Florence Nightingale was actually born in Florence, Italy to a wealthy, well-connected British family and was named after the city of her birth. A year after her birth the family returned to England where she was raised at the family's homes at Embley, Hampshire, and Lea Hurst, Derbyshire. Considering the role of the city she was named after in history, perhaps she was destined to make her own mark on the same.

Florence is a city in central Italy and the capital of the Tuscany region. It originated as a Roman city and became a leading financial, economic, political, and cultural center in medieval Europe from the 14th to 16th centuries. It is considered by many historians to be the birthplace of the Renaissance. The Florentine dialect became the foundation for the modern Italian language mainly due to the influence of the Tuscan authors Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio.

The information in this question was entered into the quiz by Phoenix Rising's tazman6619 who did not have to travel through the nine circles of hell to obtain it.
3. My mixed up brother's daughter takes five on her visit to this city on the Adriatic. (6 letters)

Answer: Venice

Solution: 'mixed up' indicates an anagram. My brother's daughter is my niece. She takes five, which is 'V' in Roman numerals. Numbers in cryptic clues are very often Roman numerals. So we have an anagram of nieceV, which is Venice (which in turn is on the Adriatic Sea).

The most famous part of Venice, the capital of the Veneto region of northeastern Italy, is actually built on a lagoon of small sandy islands. As unlikely as the location sounds, originally Roman citizens populated the lagoon islands to flee from the barbarians entering the Roman Empire. Eventually, the location on the Adriatic made Venice a wealthy trade center, thus dramatically increasing the demand for land. The solution they came up with was to bury long wooden poles deep into the sandy lagoon until they reached the thick, clay-like caranto layer. Boards of varying height were then used to create a flat surface out of the uneven poles, which itself was finally topped by a stone foundation. As an interesting side note, the poles at the bottom do not actually rot since oxygen can not get to them, but instead, over time, the poles calcify and become petrified. Due to varying degrees of depth and the firmness of the caranto layer, the foundation of Venice is slowly sinking, resulting in a few dangerously leaning buildings.

In a historical context, during the Italian renaissance, Venice became one of the richest cities in the world both culturally and financially. The city relied heavily on trade with the Byzantine empire and then subsequently with the Ottomans. Several famous people were born in Venice including Marco Polo and Antonio Vivaldi. Recently, in 1987, the lagoon region of Venice was made into a UNESCO World Heritage site.

This question was written by Phoenix Rising's BigTriviaDawg who would rather row his gondola in circles than stop and ask for directions.
4. Baloney - that's a sausage from the Emilia-Romagna region! (7 letters)

Answer: Bologna

Solution: Bologna is the name of the sausage that is also called baloney in some parts of the world (especially parts of the USA). Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region.

'The Fat', 'The Red' and 'The Learned' are three nicknames for this northern Italian city. 'The Fat' refers to Bologna's excellent, diverse and rich cuisine. Of particular relevance to this quiz, in this city, the Bologna sausage is actually called 'Mortadella', with that word derived from the mortar (and pestle) originally used to grind the pork meat. As an aside, 'baloney' originally only referred to the sandwich meat based on a rough pronunciation of the Bologna sausage but has also taken on the figurative meaning of an incredulous 'nonsense'. The city also lends its name to one of the most popular pasta sauces (Bolognese) made from ground meat and a variety of vegetables including onions and tomatoes. 'The Red' refers to both the color of the terra cotta roofing that predominates in the city as well as the left-leaning political culture. 'The Learned' comes from the city housing the famous University of Bologna, which is regarded as the oldest, continually operating university in the western world, dating back to 1088 CE. There is some debate about the oldest university in the world based on the consideration of 'when does a learning institution become a university?' For example, the Al-Azhar University in Cairo dates back to the 970s CE when it was established as a centre for Islamic learning.

This question was pressed into the quiz by MikeMaster99, whose university only dates back to the 1960s!
5. Greek letter then returns as the site for a tilted edifice. (4 letters)

Answer: Pisa

Solution: Pi is a Greek letter, followed by ('then') sa (returns i.e. reverses 'as') gives Pisa, the home of the tilted edifice known as the leaning tower.

Because of its proximity to the river Arno, the Tuscan city Pisa was established as a port town from around the middle of the 6th century. It was for a time a republic in its own right that produced significant cultural pieces and scientific developments; indeed, one of Pisa's most famous sons was Leonardo Fibonacci.
The city was captured by Florentine leaders in the 16th century and the Medici family, who controlled the city at the time, constructed the Palace of Sapienza, which today houses the Faculty of Law and the Pisa University Library. It was during this time that several disasters befell the city including an outbreak of the plague and a fire in the cathedral in 1595.
One of the most iconic buildings in the world is the Torre Pendente di Pisa, the building of which commenced in 1173 on what was soon to prove unstable ground. It was stabilised in 2001 due to danger of collapse, and the lean was reduced by 48 cm (19 inches).

This question was anagrammed into the quiz by Phoenix Rising's Miked Veg Tie. Er, VegemiteKid.
6. Planes scrambled in the vicinity of Vesuvius. (6 letters)

Answer: Naples

Solution: 'scrambled' is another keyword indicating an anagram. Naples is an anagram of 'planes' and is located near Mt Vesuvius.

Naples lies on the western coast of the Italian peninsula and is the principal port city of southern Italy, the bay on which it lies being named for the city. Naples, in common with numerous other cities in southern Italy, was founded by Greek emigrants and thousands of years of habitation have provided the metropolis with a rich history. In 1995, the city's historic centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The plague visited Naples in 1656 and the burial grounds of churches overflowed. A nearby cave system called the Fontanelle in the Materdei section of the city was used to inter the victims. It later became a place where the indigent of the city were buried. In the late 19th century all the remains were removed, cleaned and returned to the ossuary in an orderly manner.
Naples is also home to the ruins of Liternum, a Roman town that was once the home of Scipio Africanus, one of those responsible for Rome's victory against Carthage in the Second Punic War.
In a massive eruption in 79 AD Mount Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. As the entire area surrounding Naples is a volcanic hotspot the Vesuvius Observatory was founded in 1841 to monitor any threats.

This question erupted in the mind of Phoenix Rising's VegemiteKid who managed to write a question about Naples without mentioning food.
7. Columbus said 'Remove me from part of the genome, a study to be avoided!' (5 letters)

Answer: Genoa

Solution: 'part of' means look at sequential letters, but this time remove the letters 'me'. That leaves GENO(me) A. Christopher Columbus is widely believed to come from Genoa.

Genoa is the capital of the Liguria region of Italy and the sixth-largest city in the country. Historically, Genoa was the capital of one of the most powerful maritime republics in what is now Italy from the 11th century through to the end of the 18th century. Its heyday was from the 12th to 15th centuries. Commercially and militarily because of the size of its navy it was one of the most important cities in Europe during this time.
Genoa has been inhabited since the fifth or fourth millennium BC, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Although the area had been inhabited since that early, the actual first town was not founded until about the 5th century BC.
Although Columbus' early life is obscure, most scholars believe he was born in the Republic of Genoa some time between August 25 and October 31, 1451. Competing theories put his birthplace in either Spain or Portugal but these theories are currently discounted by mainstream scholars.

The information in this question was extracted from the archives in Spain by Phoenix Rising member tazman6619 as he searched for records leading to sunken treasure.
8. Cut short the odd main learning objectives about soccer from A.C. or Inter perhaps. (5 letters)

Answer: Milan

Solution: The key words are 'cut short', 'the odd' and 'main learning'. The task was to take the odd letters from "main learning", which would have given you milann. The other instruction was to 'cut short', which meant removing the 'n' at the end to give you Milan. Some assistance was thrown in in the form of AC and Inter, both related to the city's two main football (soccer) clubs.

Milan is the capital of Lombardy in the north of Italy and is the country's second most populous city. Only Rome can boast a larger population. However, in terms of Gross Domestic Product, it is the wealthiest city in Italy and, after Paris and Madrid, is the third largest economy of the cities in the European Union. Its economy has been built upon, among others, strengths in art and fashion, design, media, health care, entertainment and commerce. It is a major European tourist hub and, along with Paris, New York and London, is seen as one of the four fashion capitals of the world.

This question was written by Phoenix Rising's pollucci19 who thought that AC Milan were so named because they were cool. OK, I'm leaving now...
9. No go in touring this city in search of the shroud. (5 letters)

Answer: Turin

Solution: Remove the letters 'go' (i.e. no 'go') from 'touring' leaves Turin. The Shroud of Turin is an important Christian artefact.

Don't go thinking touring is a no go in Turin, though! Turin is an important commercial and cultural city in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy with a rich history. It is a top tourist destination and one of Italy's most visited cities. It was the capital of the Duchy of Savoy from 1563 until Italian unification (the Risorgimento) in 1861 when it became the first capital of the Kingdom of Italy.
The remainder of the clue references the Shroud of Turin, an important Christian artefact. The Shroud of Turin is a sheet bearing the negative image of a man crucified, venerated by many as the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth. It first appears in historical records in the 14th century, and has been safeguarded in the Cathedral of Turin since 1578. The relic's authenticity remains in question, as radiocarbon dating places it squarely in the Middle Ages.
This question was covered by Phoenix Rising's JCSon.
10. I've heard this is what the buffalo do here when they're home on the range. (4 letters)

Answer: Rome

Solution: The cryptic clue 'heard/hear' indicates a likely homophone. The lyrics of 'Home on the Range' include 'Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam'. Roam is a homophone of Rome.

Rome is one of the top tourist destinations for both Christians and lovers of architecture. Rome is not only the capital of the Lazio region, but also the capital of Italy. Known as the "Eternal City", the area was inhabited thousands of years before the Roman Empire came to prominence. While Rome has the largest Italian city population, if the metro area is also included, both Milan and Naples have more people.

Let's see if I can't come up with a few interesting facts about Rome you may not already know. Rather than break down an abandoned building, people often filled them in with dirt and built on top of them. As a result, the original city of Rome is actually buried deep under the earth. Additionally, the Tiber river's flooding has also resulted in the elevation of Rome gradually increasing over time. Present-day Rome is resident to more than 2,000 fountains, one of which, the Trevi Fountain, collects over 1 million Euros annually. Rome is also resident to more than 300,000 feral cats! This excess of feline freeloaders is caused by a Roman law forbidding anyone from killing or relocating a feral cat. There are still far more humans than cats, and have been for a while, as over two thousand years ago Rome became the first city in the world to have a population of over 1 million people.

This question was written by Phoenix Rising's BigTriviaDawg who is not ashamed of needing treatment for a sudden case of ailurophobia.
Source: Author MikeMaster99

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor spanishliz before going online.
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