17th March, was the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy: in 1861, after many “tribulations”, Italy became one country again.A great French author wrote that for foreigners, Italy is like a passionate lover, one day you’re furious with her, then the next you’re falling at her feet, while the other countries are like a wife – you’re serene but a little bit bored.

He wasn’t wrong. We Italians have always been a mixed blessing in the eyes of foreign visitors. We’ve made you laugh, we’ve annoyed you, we’ve enraptured you, but we’ve definitely never bored you.

Let’s all celebrate this big, wonderful, complicated country together, by reflecting on…What the world would be like without the Italians…

23 major inventions, from the Unification of Italy up to now (the complete list would be too long…)

• The pantelegraph – the forerunner of the fax (1861, Giovanni Caselli)
• The steam car (1864, Innocenzo Manzetti)
• The telephone (1871, Antonio Meucci)
• The carburetor (1876, Luigi De Cristoforis)
• The filament for electric bulbs (1881, Alessandro Cruto)
• Electric cable (1884, Giuseppe Pirelli)
• The electric engine (1885, Galileo Ferraris)
• Wireless radio and telephony (1895, Guglielmo Marconi)
• The cinema projector (1895, Filoteo Albertini). The machine for filming and projecting moving images was invented one year before that of the Lumière brothers, but due to an oversight it was only patented afterwards
• The hydrofoil (early 20th century, Enrico Forlanini)
• The radar (1922, Guglielmo Marconi; 1936, Ugo Tiberio)
• The motorway (1925) – the first connected Milan to the Lakes
• The helicopter (1930, Corradino D’Ascanio)
• The atomic pile (1942, Enrico Fermi)
• The Vespa (1946, Corradino D’Ascanio) – the first scooter
• The Fiat 600 (1955, Dante Giacosa) – the first runabout economy car
• Lettera 22 (1950, Olivetti) – portable typewriter
• The microchip (1960s, Federico Faggin)
• Nutella (1951, Ferrero)
• The speed camera (patented in Florence in the 1960s)
• Polypropylene (1960s, Giulio Natta) – the plastic used for common everyday objects
• Programma 101 (1962, Pier Giorgio Perotto) – considered the first real personal computer within everybody’s reach
• Gadis Italia … (1985, Claudio Scalambrin) – The Tour Operator!
• The Google algorithm (1997, Massimo Marchiori)

20 Nobel Prizes
629 Olympic Medals
4 Football World Cup Titles
215 Ferrari wins in Formula 1
57 Oscars
and… the icing on the cake…
325 Stars from the Michelin Guide 2011, for 276 Italian restaurants

Happy Birthday, Italy !!!!

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