Some of the most innovative ideas came straight from our favourite country!
Italy have made a stamp on the history of mankind, not only with the likes of traditional foods and classical music but also with some international firsts. Here are just a few of the best inventions to have come straight out of Italy.
Scooters - The brand Piaggio was founded in Genoa in 1884 by twenty-year-old Rinaldo Piaggio and became a 20th century phenomenon. The famous manufacturer went on to develop the iconic Vespa model which is greatly popular Internationally in cities such as London and Manchester.
Pianos – These classical instruments were invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori of Padua in late 17th century and are the benchmark for modern stringed instruments.
Ballet – The dance style originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century. By 1661, a dance academy had opened in Paris, and in 1681 ballet moved from the courts to the stage.
Film festivals – The fad began in the early 20th century. The Venice Film Festival was founded in 1932 and is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the "Big Three" film festivals alongside the Cannes Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival.
Ravioli – Although inspired by Chinese wontons and similar Arabic dishes, the first mentions of ravioli came from a merchant of Prato named Francesco di Marco Datini in the 14th century, referenced in a few hand written letters. Surprisingly, the recipes have not changed much at all, with fillings such as chicken and cheeses still being a popular option today, such as our Chicken, Mozzarella and Smoked Pancetta Ravioli from our fresh filled pasta range!
Phones - Invented by Antonio Meucci in the late 19th century, as opposed to the Scotsman Alexander Graham Bell who was acclaimed as being the genius behind the technology. Meucci originally named his invention the ‘teletrofono’.
Radio - Guglielmo Marconi developed radio communication in 1895 which went on to be used internationally throughout the First World War. Awareness was also raised through its usage in the RMS Titanic communications during the sinking disaster of 1912.
Eyeglasses – Spectacles were invented in the early 13th century, although the name of the inventor is unknown.
A mile - As a unit of distance, a mile was measured as 1,000 steps made by a Roman soldier, the word originating from the Italian “mille” meaning one thousand.
Jeans – The clothing originated from Genoa, and was a cotton corduroy material predominantly worn by sailors in the 19th century, before being developed into denim.