Published March 12, 2012 by Tony



In many parts of the world is custom to give a nickname to the cities and also in Italy, over time, some Italian cities have been saddled with one or more nicknames that recall the historical origin or describe them. The following are some of the most popular nicknames.

Roma = Caput mundi, “Città Eterna” (Eternal City), or “Città dei 7 colli” (city of 7 hills).
Kinda easy to understand the reasons, Eternal City because during Roman Empire Rome was the Capitol of the World (as Caput mundi means in Latin), while the city is surmonted  by seven hills.

Naples = Partenope, “Città del Sole” (city of the sun) or “dalle 500 Cupole” (with 500 domes).
Naples was one of the latter cities founded in the Magna Graecia, founded as “Parthenope” in the sixth century B.C. City of the sun because its mild and sunny climate even during winter, and then the city with 500 domes because Naples is the city with most number of churches in the world.

Taranto = “Città dai due mari” (City with 2 seas).
Because a strip of land that seems to divide the Tyrrhenian Sea from the Ionian Sea.

Bologna = “Città dei portici” (city of porches), “Città Rossa” (Red city), or “grassa” (fat).
Most footpaths in Bologna are covered by arcades; Red city because its inhabitants politic tendency towards communist party and “fat” because historically Bologna is the city of the cuisine with substantial recipes.

Torino = “Citta dei 4 fiumi” (4 rivers city), or “esoterica” (esoteric).
In Turin flows 4 rivers: Stura di Lanzo, Sangone, Po e Dora Riparia, and it’s said that is a mystical place because as experts say Turin is the vertex of two triangles magic: the first, the white one, with Lyon and Prague, while the second is black, along with London and San Francisco.

Bergamo = la “citta dei mille” ( city of the thousand).
So nicknamed because it contributed significantly to the achievement of the objective well-partisan by sending 174 of its citizens during the campaign of Giuseppe Garibaldi, who, along with a thousand men, conquered the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in order to accomplish the unification of Italy.

Padova =  “Citta dei tre senza” (city with three missing).
Because there are three things that are missing something.
The famous patron saint “St. Anthony of Padua” here is simply called “The Saint” by definition with no name added.
“Coffee without doors,” because the monumental and historical bar “Café Pedrocchi”, was originally opened night and day;
“Lawn without grass”, because the “Prato della Valle”, the spectacular public garden, the largest square in  Europe, in the late eighteenth century was a marshy area.

Ragusa = “Citta di ponti” (city of bridges).
Ragusa has been built on three hills separated by deep valleys. The Valley of Santa Domenica connects the city with three characteristic bridges: the Old Bridge, the New bridge and John XXIII Bridge.

Genova = “la Superba” (the Superb).
Its history is tied to seafaring and trade, and was an important Maritime Republic. Genoa is known for being the birthplace of Christopher Columbus and its port is and has been one of the most important worldwide.

Messina = “la eroica” (the heroic).
Because the actions of heroic citizenship of Messina in the glorious acts of revolt of 1848, which began the national revival and the conquest of the unit. In 1908 it suffered the ravages of a terrible earthquake, and with fearless tenacity and sublime self-abnegation of its whole population, rose from the rubble.

Palermo = “la Felice” (the Happy)
Because the city so was called from Peter of Aragon in 1286, when he was crowned King of the Two Sicilies, for the lovely place.

Gorizia = “La Nizza austriaca” (Austrian Nizza), o “la citta dei pensionati” (city of pensioners).
Because its Habsburg past with part of the town belonging to Yugoslavia. His old railway station, which was located on the Transalpina railway line, linked “Austrian Nice”, as it was called this town, to the Central Europe. Nizza, in fact, is placed more or less in the same (opposite) geographical position.  In the past, according to some poll, Gorizia was a very tranquil city and for this nicknamed the city of the pensioners.

La Spezia (but Genoa too) = “il pisciatoio d’Italia” (the urinal of Italy).
Because la region Liguria is one of the most rainy place of Italy.



  • Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: