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21 photos that could only be taken in Italy

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The longest ever pizza - of course Italy holds the record. Photo: Olivier Morin/AFP
11:44 CEST+02:00
Endless aisles of pasta, pope memorabilia and Nutella on everything: there are some things that only happen in Italy. And here are the photos to prove it.

The sight of laundry hung out over Venice's canals is quintessential Italy.

And we can't think of another country whose door handles are so elaborate.

But life in Italy isn't all about the major cities. If you thought the crazy traffic was restricted to the centres of Rome and Milan, think again - on rural roads, you might find yourself stuck behind a flock of sheep, as this photo illustrates.

... Or goats!

In most countries, vending machine coffee is weak, cardboard-tasting and generally a last resort. Not so in Italy, where you can get the good stuff from a 'Coffee Bancomat'.

Meanwhile, this vending machine serves up delicious gelato.

Italian ice cream can often be found in unusual flavours. Viagra gelato, anyone...? (This variety is usually made by herbs said to boost male libido, rather than actually being made from the drug.)

Italy's got to be one of the most dog-friendly countries, and supermarkets haven't forgotten to provide them with their own mode of transport.

Speaking of supermarkets, the never-ending aisles of pasta are a sight to behold...

But nothing beats the freshly made stuff. At the shop pictured here, it comes complete with signs including 'for those who understand pasta' and 'deceive your husband into thinking you made it yourself!'

A pasta dress? Why not.

Even Dolce & Gabbana have designed an outfit in hommage to Italy's favourite carb.

The other national dish is of course pizza, and Italians don't mind waiting in line if it's a really good one. This is Da Michele in Naples, a local favourite which shot to fame thanks to the film Eat, Pray, Love and where you can expect to queue for up to three hours on summer weekends.

From food to drink, and this  self-service wine barrel ... at €1 a glass? We want one in our house, please.

Wine flowing from gas pumps. Fill up your tank!

Signs like this: 'We reopen at 18:30. We've gone to make love! (Excuse us).' Well, you could never accuse Italians of being shy - or of overworking.

Italians might not all be fond of McDonald's, but the fast food chain seems to have worked out the way to their hearts: Nutella burgers.

In a similar vein, many Italians will be strict over what foods are acceptable as a pizza topping - but apparently Nutella is OK.

Decorate your house with Nutella? Er, OK then.

Moving away from food - only in Italy would the pontiff make the cover of Rolling Stone.

You only have to see the reaction of the crowds at his weekly Wednesday audiences to realize he really is a bit of a rock star for a large part of the population.

And finally, the Calendario Romano - known in Rome as the 'hot priests calendar' is something of an institution. The photos stay the same year to year, but the fascination it holds for locals and tourists alike doesn't seem to waver.

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