The shocking results of a survey sponsored by the drinks company, Bibite Sanpelligrino, have revealed how little some Italians know about the wealth of cultural heritage in their midst.
Some 56 percent of those surveyed said they had never heard of Venice’s famous Rialto Bridge while six out of ten believe that Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ is in Florence, and not Milan.
Equally puzzling is that a large number of those questioned associated Alberobello, a town in Puglia famous for its unique trulli homes, with the former Formula One racing driver, Michele Alboreto, and think Certosa di Pavia, a monastery in Lombardy, is a type of cheese.
Meanwhile, 53 percent think the Cascate dell Marmore, a manmade waterfall created by the ancient Romans, is in the Alps and not in the central Italian region of Umbria, and 39 percent believe Sicily’s Valley of the Temples is actually in Egypt.
Sicily's Valley of the Temples: Merlijn Hoek
Some 4,000 people, aged between 18 and 65, took part in the study.
Italian men fared the worst, with 56 percent admitting that they didn’t know of their country’s most famous tourism and heritage sights, compared with 48 percent of women.