Italian culture is marked by food, architecture, art, music and, perhaps most important of all, family. In Italy, almost the entire population is fully Italian although there is a small percentage of other ethnicities including German, North African, and Albanian.

Most Italians speak the Italian language which is the country’s native language. This language is spoken in various dialects around the country. In the island of Sicily, the native people speak with a Sicilian dialect.

Italians are mostly Roman Catholic and have a tremendous respect and focus on the family. Around these gatherings is food which is served in large portions and makes use of all manner of local produce, cheeses, and meats.

In the West, many people think of family in a nuclear, two-point-five children manner. In Italy, it is meant to encompass the entire extended family from grandparents to uncles and cousins.

The Vatican City which is its own country within Italy clearly influences the culture. The Pope is revered highly by Italians who are about 90 percent Catholic.

The Italians have spread their culture throughout the world in fashion, music and movies. As for architecture, they have introduced the world to classic Roman, Neoclassical and Renaissance styles.

Perhaps one of the most famous works of art is in the Vatican City. The Sistine Chapel’s ceiling was painted by Michelangelo around 1508. It took him years to complete this masterpiece.

Italian culture is also where opera was born. Modern Italian composers have had their influence in Hollywood with the likes of Ennio Morricone. Famous film directors include Federico Fellini.

Italian culture is also highly influenced by the type of work people do. Those who work using computers or who work in offices are thought of as much more prestigious than those who work getting their hands dirty.