Quiz about 20 Shades of Italy
Quiz about 20 Shades of Italy

20 Shades of Italy Trivia Quiz


In honour of Italy winning Euro 2020, I've decided to do a category safari quiz with an Italian theme. Each question is related to Italy or Italians in some way.

A multiple-choice quiz by Kankurette. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
Kankurette
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
406,147
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
20
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
14 / 20
Plays
163
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 86 (6/20), Guest 86 (4/20), Guest 67 (9/20).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. ANIMALS: the Lagotto Romagnolo is an Italian gundog breed. Besides hunting game, what else is it used for? Hint

Mountain rescues
Sniffing out truffles
Fighting
Catching badgers

2. BRAIN TEASERS: 'barium' is an anagram of which Italian region?

Answer: (6 letters - St Francis)
3. CELEBRITIES: which Italian actress, born in Rome in 1952, is the daughter of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman? Hint

Gina Lollobrigida
Isabella Rossellini
Monica Bellucci
Asia Argento

4. ENTERTAINMENT: in which type of Italian play would you find the stock characters Colombina, Pantalone and Arlecchino? Hint

Commedia dell'arte
Pedrolino
Fabula palliata
Phantasmagoria

5. FOR CHILDREN: which fairy tale character, created by Carlo Collodi, was a wooden puppet who dreamed of becoming a real boy? Hint

Petrushka
Provolino
Geppetto
Pinocchio

6. GENERAL: which hand sign, associated with metal music, was originally used in Italy to ward off the evil eye? Hint

Pointing with the index finger
The peace sign
The horns
The thumbs up

7. GEOGRAPHY: what is the highest mountain in Italy? Hint

Cervino
Monte Bianco
Bernina
Gran Paradiso

8. HISTORY: who was the first Prime Minister of the united Kingdom of Italy? Hint

Giuseppe Garibaldi
Agostino Depretis
Benito Mussolini
Camillo Benso

9. HOBBIES: which hard and, frankly, smelly cows' milk cheese is produced in the regions of Reggio Emilia, Modena, Parma, and parts of Modena and Mantua? Hint

Parmesan
Provolone
Piave
Pecorino

10. HUMANITIES: which art movement, with key figures such as Carlo Carra, Gino Severini and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, came into being in Italy in the early 20th century? Hint

Pointillism
Dada
Futurism
Expressionism

11. LITERATURE: what was unusual about the Italian writer Italo Calvino's 1979 novel 'If on a Winter's Night a Traveler'? Hint

It did not contain any punctuation.
It was from the point of view of an inanimate object.
It was partly written in the second person.
It happened backwards.

12. MOVIES: for which film did the Italian actress Sophia Loren win her first Academy Award? Hint

Marriage Italian Style
Two Women
The Sunflower
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

13. MUSIC: Italy won the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. The winning song was 'Zitti e buoni', but which group sang it? Hint

Il Volo
Ricchi e Poveri
Jalisse
Maneskin

14. PEOPLE: of these four Italian artists, which one was primarily a sculptor? (I'm not sure he did machines, though.) Hint

Leonardo da Vinci
Donatello
Michelangelo
Raphael

15. RELIGION: which female saint is a patron saint of Italy and Rome, and also sickness, nurses and miscarriages? Hint

St Osanna of Mantua
St Patricia of Naples
St Catherine of Siena
St Veronica of Milan

16. SCI/TECH: which of these devices was invented by an Italian? Hint

Radio
Microwave
Vacuum cleaner
Zipper

17. SPORT: which manager, formerly of Manchester City and Inter Milan, led the Italian team to victory in Euro 2020? Hint

Claudio Ranieri
Carlo Ancelotti
Roberto Mancini
Antonio Conte

18. TELEVISION: in 2017, a clip from a 1939 cartoon version of 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears', in which the Three Bears were portrayed as stereotypical Italians, went viral. The clip shows Papa Bear smacking his forehead in horror and exclaiming that somebody has touched his food. What did Goldilocks steal in this version instead of porridge? Hint

Spaghetti
Zabaglione
Lasagne
Pizza

19. VIDEO GAMES: in which series of fighting games would you find Voldo, a mute Italian warrior who wears a mask and fights with katars? Hint

Mortal Kombat
Tekken
Street Fighter
Soulcalibur

20. World: the Italian national men's football team are known as 'Gli Azzurri' in their native tongue. What does this mean in English? Hint

The Lions
The Kings
The Blues
The Champions


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. ANIMALS: the Lagotto Romagnolo is an Italian gundog breed. Besides hunting game, what else is it used for?

Answer: Sniffing out truffles

The Lagotto Romagnolo is from the Romagna region, an area which once had a lot of wetlands, and was originally bred as a water dog and gundog, retrieving game from bodies of water. However, in modern times, now that the wetlands have been drained, it is also used to hunt truffles as an alternative to pigs (a dog being more discreet than a pig).

When it smells the truffles, it heads to the digging site, or 'forata', to dig them up. It is a medium-sized dog with a curly brown and white coat. Its name comes from 'can lagòt', a Romagnol word for 'water dog'.
2. BRAIN TEASERS: 'barium' is an anagram of which Italian region?

Answer: umbria

Umbria is a landlocked region in central Italy located between Tuscany, Lazio and Marche, and its capital is Perugia. Umber, a reddish-brown iron pigment, gets its name from the region and was originally extracted there. It is nicknamed the 'green heart of Italy' because of its green spaces, and features attractions such as Orvieto Cathedral and the Sibylline Mountains National Park, which contains the Saffron Trail, a path once used by spice merchants. (Assisi, the home town of St Francis, is in Umbria and is also a World Heritage Site.)
3. CELEBRITIES: which Italian actress, born in Rome in 1952, is the daughter of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman?

Answer: Isabella Rossellini

As well as having a famous mum, Isabella Rossellini also has a famous dad; her father was film director Roberto Rossellini. Her half-sister from Bergman's first marriage, Pia Lindström, is a Swedish-American journalist. Although she was born in Italy, she also has American citizenship.

Originally a model and TV reporter for the Italian channel RAI, she appeared in Madonna's 'Sex' book and the video for her single 'Erotica', and was also a spokesmodel for Lancôme. Rossellini was married to director Martin Scorsese, with whom she appeared in the Italian comedy 'Il pap'occhio', from 1979 to 1982.

Her notable roles include Dorothy Vallens in 'Blue Velvet', Lisle von Rhuman in 'Death Becomes Her' and Anna Hauptmann in the TV movie 'Crime of the Century'.
4. ENTERTAINMENT: in which type of Italian play would you find the stock characters Colombina, Pantalone and Arlecchino?

Answer: Commedia dell'arte

Commedia dell'arte ('comedy of the profession') originated in Italy in the 16th century, although some historians argue that it has its roots in ancient Roman comedy. The characters traditionally wear masks and plays involve improvisation, pantomime and scripted entrances and exits.

There are four general types of stock characters in commedia dell'arte: zanni (servants or clowns), vecchi (rich old men), innamorati (young lovers) and Il Capitano or La Signorina (arrogant braggarts). Named stock characters include Colombina, a cheerful maid; Pantalone, a greedy old man obsessed with money, who often wears red trousers; and Arlecchino, or Harlequin, a joker in a colourful outfit. (Pedrolino, a cunning servant, is another stock character.) Fans of the British TV series 'Inside Number 9' may recall that the sixth season featured an episode based on commedia dell'arte, with modern takes on the characters.
5. FOR CHILDREN: which fairy tale character, created by Carlo Collodi, was a wooden puppet who dreamed of becoming a real boy?

Answer: Pinocchio

Pinocchio is one of fiction's most famous puppets, immortalised by Disney in 1940. The original story from 1883 is called 'The Adventures of Pinocchio', and has been translated into multiple languages. Pinocchio is born when Geppetto, a poor man aiming to become a puppeteer, carves him from a talking log given to him by a neighbour.

The naughty puppet immediately comes to life and tries to run away after Geppetto teaches him to walk. He gets into numerous misadventures, such as going to a puppet show, nearly being turned into firewood and begging the puppeteer not to burn him or any of the other puppets; meeting a fox and cat, who con him out of his money; and turning into a donkey.

In the end, the Blue Fairy - who had previously saved Pinocchio after the fox and cat tried to hang him - turns him into a real boy. One of Pinocchio's traits is that his nose grows whenever he tells a lie, which has since been parodied in countless works.
6. GENERAL: which hand sign, associated with metal music, was originally used in Italy to ward off the evil eye?

Answer: The horns

Metalheads have the late Ronnie James Dio for popularising the horns, or 'mano cornuta'; he learned about the gesture from his Italian grandmother, and explained that it wasn't about worshipping the Devil as some thought, but warding off the 'malocchio' (the evil eye). On the subject of Italy and horns, a horn-shaped charm known as the 'cornicello' is worn in certain regions of Italy, such as Lazio, Campania and Calabria.

It is said to protect sources of fertility, such as fruit trees or sperm, from the evil eye and is associated with the Roman goddess Venus.

Other Italian superstitions include not spilling salt or olive oil, and that thirteen people at a dinner table is unlucky (thirteen being the number of people present at the Last Supper, with the traitor Judas Iscariot being the thirteenth person to sit down).
7. GEOGRAPHY: what is the highest mountain in Italy?

Answer: Monte Bianco

Monte Bianco, aka Mont Blanc, is the highest mountain in both Italy and France, straddling the border between both countries; Italy and France have argued over ownership of the summit for many years. It is Europe's second-highest mountain next to Russia's Mount Elbrus, standing a massive 4808.7m tall.

The nearby town of Chamonix in France is a popular skiing resort and also the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924. First officially scaled by explorer Jacques Balmat and doctor Michel Piccard in 1786, it now has around 20,000 people on average attempting to climb it every year.

It has also been the site of two fatal Air India accidents; Flight 245 on 3rd November 1950, and Flight 101 on 24th January 1966.
8. HISTORY: who was the first Prime Minister of the united Kingdom of Italy?

Answer: Camillo Benso

Camillo Benso, aka Camillo di Cavour - or, to give him his full name, Camillo Paolo Filippo Giulio Benso, Count of Cavour, Isolabella and Leri - was the first Prime Minister of Italy after it became a unified state. Like many other European countries, the country we now know as Italy was made up of a mixture of kingdoms and city states, such as the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia (Benso's home territory) and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Benso became Prime Minister of Piedmont-Sardinia in 1852 and thanks to his efforts, the state became one of the driving forces behind Italian unification, growing in size and status after annexing various provinces.

The Proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy was issued in 1861 and Victor Emmanuel II, of the House of Savoy, made Benso its first Prime Minister.
9. HOBBIES: which hard and, frankly, smelly cows' milk cheese is produced in the regions of Reggio Emilia, Modena, Parma, and parts of Modena and Mantua?

Answer: Parmesan

Parmesan, also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, has a protected designation of origin, meaning that it has to be made in certain regions to qualify as authentic Parmesan cheese. It originates from the village of Bibbiano in Reggio Emilia, dating as far back as the 12th century.

It is made from unpasteurised cows' milk and has a slightly nutty taste (and tastes nicer than it smells!) In the past, the leftover whey from making Parmesan was fed to pigs that would later be made into prosciutto. Football fans might be interested to know that Italian footballer-turned-manager Carlo Ancelotti is from the village of Reggiolo, one of the areas in which Parmesan is made, and grew up on a cheese farm.

Another interesting factoid I found out while writing this quiz: organised crime gangs have been known to hijack lorries carrying wheels of Parmesan and steal the cheese, to then be sold in the south of Italy. Parmesan producers have attempted to counter this by placing microchips in the crusts.
10. HUMANITIES: which art movement, with key figures such as Carlo Carra, Gino Severini and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, came into being in Italy in the early 20th century?

Answer: Futurism

Futurism, as the name suggests, focused heavily on modernity and leaving the past behind, with industry, technology, movement and vehicles as inspiration. It originated early in the 20th century. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, a member of the Abbaye de Créteil artistic group, was the founder of the Futurist movement and also published the first 'Futurist Manifesto' in 1909. Believing in the power of violence and the glory of war, he later became a supporter of Benito Mussolini and aspired to make Futurism the official art of Italy.

A similar parallel movement also existed in Russia around the same time. As well as art, Futurism also incorporated music, dance and literature; a second wave in the 1920s featured aeropittura ('aeropainting'), a type of art heavily inspired by aviation.
11. LITERATURE: what was unusual about the Italian writer Italo Calvino's 1979 novel 'If on a Winter's Night a Traveler'?

Answer: It was partly written in the second person.

Italo Calvino, born in Cuba to Italian parents, was one of Italy's most translated modern authors. 'If on a Winter's Night a Traveler' is essentially two books in one. It is divided into 22 passages and the odd-numbered passages are written in the second person, in which the point-of-view character (the reader) finds a novel called 'If on a Winter's Night a Traveler' and is sucked into an international conspiracy, as well as meeting another character called Ludmilla.

The even-numbered passages all represent first chapters from different books. Calvino stated that the book was inspired by the work of Vladimir Nabokov, as well as other writers such as GK Chesterton and Jorge Luis Borges.
12. MOVIES: for which film did the Italian actress Sophia Loren win her first Academy Award?

Answer: Two Women

The legendary Italian actress and one of the last survivors of the Golden Age of Cinema represented Lazio in the 1950 Miss Italia contest under the name of Sofia Lazzaro and first appeared in the Italian Western comedy 'Io sono Capataz' ('I'm the Capataz') that same year.

Born Sofia Villani Scicolone, she had her name changed to Sophia Loren by the Italian film producer Carlo Ponti, who she married in 1957 (despite him already being married). She won her first film award, the Volpi Cup for Best Actress, at the Venice Film Festival in 1958 for the role of Rose Bianco in 'The Black Orchid' which also starred Anthony Quinn.

She received several awards for the 1960 film 'Two Women', one of which was an Academy Award for Best Actress. In the film she played Cesira, a widow from Lazio who is gang-raped by Moroccan soldiers along with her daughter Rosetta, during the Allies' occupation of Rome.

The film was based on the Marocchinate, a series of atrocities committed by Moroccan soldiers in southern Italy following the Battle of Monte Cassino.
13. MUSIC: Italy won the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. The winning song was 'Zitti e buoni', but which group sang it?

Answer: Maneskin

Italy was one of the first countries to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest, which began in 1956, and won for the first time in 1964 with 16-year-old Gigliola Cinquetti's 'Non ho l'età (per amarti)', or 'I'm Not Old Enough (To Love You)'. Italy withdrew from the contest on various occasions, with its longest hiatus being from 1997 (the year Jalisse entered) to 2011 (when Raphael Gualazzi came second).

There were calls to get Italy back in the contest during the hiatus period, with one contest featuring a Latvian act singing in Italian! Måneskin (it's Danish for 'moonlight'), who formed in high school in Rome, were one of the few rock acts to win the contest.

They were singer Damiano David, bassist Victoria de Angelis, guitarist Thomas Raggi and drummer Ethan Torchio. Like many of Italy's other entries, their song 'Zitti e buoni' ('Shut Up and Behave') was entirely in Italian.

They had previously appeared on the Italian version of 'The X Factor' in 2017. After their Eurovision victory, their song 'I Wanna Be Your Slave' went viral, and they released a version featuring Iggy Pop in August 2021.
14. PEOPLE: of these four Italian artists, which one was primarily a sculptor? (I'm not sure he did machines, though.)

Answer: Donatello

Although the other works of the other three did include sculptures, Donatello ('80s kids, remember the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' theme, 'Donatello does machines'?) was a sculptor first and foremost; like his scaly cartoon counterpart, he was good with his hands! As with Michelangelo, one of his most famous pieces is a statue of the Biblical hero David, although Donatello's 'David' is made from bronze, holds a sword and wears a helmet and boots. Donatello worked in stone, stucco, metals, wax and wood, and made both statues and reliefs.

A native of Florence, he restored statues in the Palazzo Medici and also produced statues for Florence Cathedral, including 'Saint John the Evangelist, now housed with other former cathedral works of art in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. He also lived and worked in Rome and Padua.
15. RELIGION: which female saint is a patron saint of Italy and Rome, and also sickness, nurses and miscarriages?

Answer: St Catherine of Siena

Along with St Francis of Assisi, St Catherine of Siena is one of the patron saints of Italy. She was declared patron saint of Rome in 1866, and patron saint of Italy in 1939. One of the few female Doctors of the Church, her works included a series of letters to the Pope and 'The Dialogue of Divine Providence', thought to have been dictated while Catherine was in a state of ecstasy. During her life, she suffered from anorexia nervosa and became unable to eat or drink in 1380, later losing the use of her legs.

She would give away her clothing and reject food from her family, and entered into a spiritual marriage with Jesus at the age of 21. As well as writing letters, she was also a political activist and travelled to Florence and Pisa, where she received stigmata.

A legend tells that after her death from a stroke, people from Siena smuggled her head out of Rome in a bag and prayed to her for help when stopped by guards. On opening the bag, it was found to be full of rose petals.
16. SCI/TECH: which of these devices was invented by an Italian?

Answer: Radio

The Italian in question is Guglielmo Marconi, known as the 'Father of Radio' for his work that led to the creation of the modern radio. Born into a noble family, he was educated at home and took an interest in wireless telegraphy, experimenting with radio waves in his attic.

His first transmitter looks nothing like the radios we know, and is a cumbersome thing consisting of a copper sheet, a Righi spark gap, a telegraph key and an induction coil. Marconi discovered that raising the height of his antenna and grounding the transmitter and receiver increased the frequency, and he travelled to Britain to test his equipment.

He also experimented with maritime radio, and the radio operators on the ill-fated Titanic voyage (which Marconi fortunately missed out on, as he had travelled on the Lusitania beforehand) were employed by the Marconi International Marine Communication Company. Marconi was praised for the ship's SOS system and the lives it saved.

In his later years, he joined the Fascist Party and was made President of the Royal Academy of Italy by Mussolini in 1930.
17. SPORT: which manager, formerly of Manchester City and Inter Milan, led the Italian team to victory in Euro 2020?

Answer: Roberto Mancini

As a player, Roberto Mancini spent the majority of his career at Sampdoria, where he played from 1982 to 1997 as a forward. During his time at Sampdoria, they won the Coppa Italia four times and the Serie A title in 1991. As a manager, his clubs included Fiorentina, Inter Milan and Lazio in Italy, and Zenit St Petersburg, Manchester City and Galatasaray elsewhere. With his trademark striped scarf, he was a key figure in Manchester City's rise to power, winning the FA Cup with them in 2011 and the Premier League title the following season, which they snatched from Manchester United at the last minute thanks to a Sergio Agüero goal against Queens Park Rangers.

In 2018, he was appointed manager of the Italian national team, with a promise of a contract extension if Italy qualified for Euro 2020.

Not only did they qualify, they won it, beating England in a penalty shootout, with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saving two penalties; Donnarumma was subsequently named Player of the Tournament by UEFA, the first goalkeeper to win the award.
18. TELEVISION: in 2017, a clip from a 1939 cartoon version of 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears', in which the Three Bears were portrayed as stereotypical Italians, went viral. The clip shows Papa Bear smacking his forehead in horror and exclaiming that somebody has touched his food. What did Goldilocks steal in this version instead of porridge?

Answer: Spaghetti

The line that became an internet meme, spoken by Papa Bear, was "Somebody touch-a my spaghet'!" In the cartoon made by Terry Toons, the Three Bears eat spaghetti instead of porridge, and speak with thick Italian accents. Mama Bear also wears a shawl and has her ears pierced, and Baby Bear plays the fiddle (reluctantly).

While Papa Bear is chasing Baby Bear, Goldilocks enters the house. When the Three Bears find Goldilocks, she wins them over by playing the fiddle. It also features a huntsman and his dog hunting the Bears, but Goldilocks swaps his gun with a broom and she and the Bears beat him up.

The clip was originally uploaded to Twitter on Christmas Day 2017, and made its way to YouTube the following day. It has since been remixed multiple times, including with the 'Thomas the Tank Engine' theme and another song that went viral in the 2010s, Smash Mouth's 'All Star'.
19. VIDEO GAMES: in which series of fighting games would you find Voldo, a mute Italian warrior who wears a mask and fights with katars?

Answer: Soulcalibur

The 'Soulcalibur' fighting game series, which made its debut with 'Soul Edge' in 1995, is set in the Renaissance eras and features fighters from around the world, who are either looking for the cursed sword Soul Edge, or its good counterpart, Soul Calibur. Voldo is one of the most bizarre characters in the series; he's a tall mute from the Kingdom of Sicily who wears bondage gear, makes strange hissing and grunting sounds and fights with katars (a type of Indian dagger).

He is also a contortionist, with most of his moves being created by animator Naotake Hirata rather than motion capture, although one motion capture artist was used for Voldo in 'Soulcalibur III'.

In Voldo's backstory, he was the henchman of a merchant called Vercci who collected rare weapons and coveted Soul Edge. Vercci had a vault built on a secret island and Voldo was tasked with killing the sailors who built the vault, before spending several years underground and killing anyone who attempted to steal from the vault.

He left the island after hearing his master's voice calling for Soul Edge. ('Street Fighter', incidentally, also has an Italian character: Rose, a psychic fortune teller.)
20. World: the Italian national men's football team are known as 'Gli Azzurri' in their native tongue. What does this mean in English?

Answer: The Blues

'Azzurro' is the Italian word for blue (think 'azure', or the Spanish 'azul') and the plural of 'Azzurro' is 'Azzurri'. The Italian national women's football team are called the 'Azzurre'. Several other Italian national men's teams, such as basketball, rugby league and union, and ice hockey, are also nicknamed the 'Azzurri' and wear blue kits.

Originally, the Italian football team wore a white kit, but this was changed to blue in 1911; the specific shade is Savoy blue, the colour of the House of Savoy which appeared on the flag of the Kingdom of Italy. During Mussolini's regime, the team wore black kits; they returned to blue in 1946 when Italy became a republic.
Source: Author Kankurette

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