The beloved and favorite grandson of the once great Roman Empire, North Italy, better known as just “Italy,” can be described as nonetheless, a failure in following in his grandpa’s footsteps and a complete crybaby. He is often called “Veneziano” because he represents the northern half of the country. He has short reddish-brown hair with a curly ahoge that sticks out on the left side of his head, and brown eyes. In earlier artwork, Italy’s hair was colored a medium shade of brown and his eyes were colored grey.
As a child, he spent his days with his grandpa until he passed away. Afterwards, he was taken to live in Austria’s house along with Hungary and the Holy Roman Empire, who did not know of his true gender and developed a crush on him. His gender was often mistaken because he was always seen wearing dresses. Even Austria did not know of his gender, and did not find out until Italy had a giant growth spurt and his voice changed.
His official blood-related brother is South Italy, more commonly called “Romano.” It was confirmed that Romano is the older of the two, and that they are not twins (despite some assumptions by fans). The two weren’t raised together, and since Italy apparently inherited all of their grandfather’s traits (and good looks, according to Romano), they are on somewhat bad terms. Italy loves his older brother very much, but Romano seems less than enthused to even admit that the two are related. Despite this, Romano does actually care for Italy, as revealed in some instances where he showed dismay for various reasons, most often being the fact that Italy admires and spends time with Germany more than he does with him. It should be noted that Italy calls his brother “Romano,” and Romano calls Italy “Veneziano” (most likely to avoid confusion between the two).
He considers France and Spain to also be his older brothers, going so far as to refer to them as “Spain-niichan” (Big Brother Spain) and “France-oniichan” (Big Brother France). Spain, who was in control of Romano at one time, wanted nothing more than for Italy to come and live in his house, a dream that he still has even to this day. Nowadays, France, who fought against Italy in WWII, still has a pleasant relationship with him and often gives him (usually bad and inappropriate) advice at times.
After WWI, Italy, who was Germany’s prisoner of war, eventually went on to become allies with him and formed the Axis Powers when Japan joined them years later. Throughout the series, Italy is shown heavily relying on Germany for almost everything from tying his shoes to learning how to properly throw and set off a grenade (which he still has not accomplished). Despite Germany’s constant efforts, Italy usually doesn’t listen to him and ends up daydreaming or wandering off. Even though Germany often gets fed up with Italy, the two are very close and consider themselves as best friends, even to this day.
Considered the official main protagonist of the series, Italy has interacted with a good portion of the cast and is known to be friendly with most of them.
He’s rather absent-minded, is always spacing out, and irresponsible, but ever so cheery, kind, and big-hearted, making him prone to crying, whining, and getting offended or picked on at times. Another trait that he seems to possess is his habit of being overly-affectionate, going so far as to be quite the “touch-feely” type of person, hugging and kissing people upon greeting and even far into the conversation. Despite his flaws, most of the other nations are usually tolerant of him. His hobbies include art, drawing, designing, singing, siestas, flirting with girls, remodeling German cars, and cooking. The things he loves most are pasta, pizza, gelato, fruit, and cheese. He is sometimes seen humming obnoxiously, skipping around, and gesturing wildly when talking, something that he seems to have been born with. More often than not, he forgets to put his pants on after taking a siesta and runs around nude, causing Switzerland to open fire on him when he runs across his border. Even though Romano will deny it, Italy was mentioned to have Germanic blood in him (while Romano has Arab blood).
A long running joke throughout the series is that Italy is utterly useless (the title of the series is even named after this), lazy, and weak. However, it was shown in the past that Italy single-handedly defeated Turkey (then the Ottoman Empire) while still just a child, implying that he isn’t as useless as one might think. As said by Hidekaz Himaruya, he doesn’t use his strength because he is “too scared and too much of a coward to do so.”
Hidekaz Himaruya once stated that Italy’s ahoge was “added last-minute to make him look cuter.” Throughout the series, it is noticeable that all of the Italians (as well as Romano) possess one of these curly ahoge (literally “foolish hair,” or just a hair curl).
Italy’s nickname, “Ita-chan,” was given to him by Spain when he was a child (which he still calls him in present times). Italy is also called “Hetalia” (a term derived from the Japanese word “hetare,” meaning “useless,” and “Italia”) on some occasions, one being in the ending theme, “Marukaite Chikyuu,” in which he refers to himself as such.
One can usually hear the strange sound “veh” escape his mouth. He’s also been noted to cry out his famous signature line “PASTA!” randomly, as well as “herahera” (which means “foolish” in Japanese).