And still it was the Romans who came up with the mile. When their legions where marching across the empire the counted the times the same foot hit the ground and marked of every time they had made a thousand paces (mille passus = 1 miglio), ~ 1 841 meters. That way the were able to make maps with correct distances between Rome and e.g. 'Parisium' or 'Londonium'.
Locals around the Empire soon adopted this and more or less every village, town and country began to define it's own mile. But Italy was also one of the first countries to abandon this system already in 1861 and today it's the metric system that's used all over Italy.
Italians know their history and e.g. Air Italia calls it frequent flyer program Millemiglia, - so don't go there and tell them the miglo is not important . . . or an English invention.
I believe the modern mille miglia rally is 1000 km long. However, the former mille miglia road race, last run in 1957, was roughly 1000 miles. So the question is, when Italians say 'miglia', do they mean mile or kilometre? The UK went metric from 1965, but the road signs are still in miles and the speedometers on cars are calibrated in miles per hour. The US, which has a lot of influence, still uses imperial measures. It's all muddled up!
The Mille Miglia race was established in 1927 in response to the Italian Grand Prix being moved from Brescia to Monza. The Mille Miglia race ran from Brescia to Rome and back in a figure-eight shaped course of roughly 1 000 Roman miles. A Roman mile was 1 000 paces counted when a legion marched from Rome to most other places around Europe.
Statute mile in the UK is different from nautical/air mile in the UK too, and it's still called a mile, so this argument is irrelevant.
The previous comment "miles were invented in Italy" is right, the first mile in history was ancient Roman. The English mile was borrowed from Roman soldiers who conquered Britain, and the Roman mile was later adjusted there to local English lengths like yard, furlong etc. But even the English word itself is borrowed from Latin which was spoken in the Roman Empire at the time.
Indeed. Expanding on my previous answer by plagiarizing from wikipedia, "La parola miglio deriva dall'espressione latina milia passuum, 'migliaia di passi'", where in this case, "passo", or pace in English, is the distance between two falls of the same foot while marching. So, a thousand paces. But since this would vary according to how hard the men were driven, they apparently standardized the measurement as 5 Roman feet in 29BC.
My two bits
Far is an adverb or an adjective used to talk about distance or amount.
Thee sentence "How far is a mile?" is a question about distance. The answer would be an amount, e.g. "7 500 meters (the old German Reichsmeile) or "About 1 and ½ hours of walk".
Long is an adjective or an adverb used to talk about time, distance or length.
"How long is a mile?" is a question of distance and the answer would be either a length or maybe a distance e.g. "About 1 841 meters (a Roman miglia)" or maybe "It's a 20 minutes walk".
Quanto/a ~ what quantity = how+much
è = is+it (/he/she/You)
Quanto è ? = How+much is+it ?
Quanto è lungo? = how+much is+it long ? ~ how long is it?
Quanto è profondo? = how+much is+it deep ? ~ how deep is it?
Quanto è alto? = how+much is+it tall ? ~how tall is it?
Quanto è pesante? = how+much is+it heavy ? ~ how heavy is it?
Quanto è grande? = how+much is+it big ? ~ how big is it?
Quanti/e = how+many
sono = are+they
Quanti/e sono? = how+many are+they? ~ how many are they?
- But mind the difference in the following pairs
Quanti sono i bicchieri? = how+many are the glasses?
~ how many are the glasses
Quanti bicchieri ci sono? = how+many glasses there are?
~ how many glasses are there
Quante sono le uova = how+many are the eggs?
~ how many are the eggs?
Quante uova ci sono? = how+many eggs there are?
~ how many eggs are there?
Quanto costa = how+much he/she/it costs? ~ what does it cost?