Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Saturday, June 30, 2018

3-D Technology Coming To Serie A

Italy may not be in the World Cup (still a surreal event), but Italians continue to influence the game as they generally have thought out the history of soccer.

One area where they've distinguished themselves is in officiating having produced some of the best referees in history. It's not surprising then they were among the first to introduce and experiment with VAR in Serie A and B. Now they will be using 3-D technology to better monitor offsides.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Design: It's In The Blood

A wiki entry on Italian design focusing on fashion, automobile, industrial and interior design.

"Italian design refers to all forms of design in Italy, including interior designurban designfashion design and architectural design. Italy is recognized as being a worldwide trendsetter and leader in design: the architect Luigi Caccia Dominioni claims that "Quite simply, we are the best" and that "We have more imagination, more culture, and are better mediators between the past and the future".[1] Italy today still exerts a vast influence on urban designindustrial design and fashion design worldwide and Italy's iconic design has emerged into the common phrase "Made in Italy".

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Campagnolo Introduces 12-Speed Group Set

Campagnolo engineers have come up with a 12-speed option and have done so in typical stylistic and quality it's famous for.

Of the three major group sets out there - SRAM and Shimano are the other two - Campagnolo is the most storied and keeps its innovative edge.

And most beautiful.

Lamborghini Not Going Electric Any Time Soon

If you were wondering if Lamborghini would go electric (why would you?) keep dreaming.

There are no plans for the auto legend to do so.

"...According to Reggiani, an electric Lamborghini supercar needs to achieve a top speed in excess of 186 miles per hour (300 kilometers per hour), and the batteries need to allow for three laps of the Nürburgring Nordschleife. These stipulations are interesting because current technology would seem to allow for such a vehicle. For example, the Rimac Concept_One has 1,224 horsepower (900 kilowatts) and hits a top speed of 221 mph (355 kph). The 90-kilowatt-hour battery provides a claimed 217-mile (350-kilometer) range, but it's not clear how far the pack would last at full speed around the 'Ring."

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Science: A More Natural Robotic Hand

The Hennes robotic hand has a simpler mechanical design compared with other such myoelectric prosthetics, characterized by sensors that react to electrical signals from the brain to the muscles, said researcher Lorenzo De Michieli. He helped develop the hand in a lab backed by the Italian Institute of Technology and the INAIL state workers' compensation prosthetic centre."
Not quite this but it'll do.

Spotlight Bike: Battaglin

Giovanni Battaglin (a Giro and Vuelta winner), like a few former pro cyclists, went on to manufacture his own bikes. Stephen Roche rode his treble back in the 80s on a Battaglin.  I just found this particular one on the Battaglin site to be gorgeous:

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Korean Creation With Italian Panache

"...Judging by its name alone, you might guess that the "Lafesta" is some obscure, one-off supercar from an Italian workshop somewhere. But no, it’s actually a Hyundai; the small Lafesta sedan – which translates to "festival" in Italian – showed up surprisingly at the Beijing International Motor Show as a vehicle focused on the Chinese market exclusively.

China is evolving quickly and so are Chinese people’s attitudes. They are more self-confident, positive and creative. The Lafesta will help us reflect this shifting trend," said Simon Loasby, Director and Head of Hyundai China Design. "It’s a clear demonstration of how our newly announced design vision, ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ comes to life in Hyundai vehicles."

It's nice to see Italy still inspires and evokes such imagery in the world.  Their car design legacy is indeed to be admired. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Who Says The Middle Ages Were Dark

A medieval Italian man was found with what appears to be a knife for a hand.

"...The skeleton in question was found in a Longobard necropolis in the north of Italy, dating back to around the 6th to 8th centuries CE. Hundreds of skeletons were buried there, as well as a headless horse and several greyhounds, but this particular skeleton stood out.
He was an older male, aged between 40 and 50, and his right arm had been amputated around the mid-forearm.
The researchers, led by archaeologist Ileana Micarelli of Sapienza University in Rome, determined that the hand had been removed by blunt force trauma, but exactly how or why is impossible to tell..."
"...This Longobard male shows a remarkable survival after a forelimb amputation during pre-antibiotic era. Not only did he adjust very well to his condition, he did so with the use of a culturally-derived device, along with considerable community support," the team wrote in their paper.
"The survival of this Longobard male testifies to community care, family compassion and a high value given to human life."

Pretty amazing. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Seminal Italian Bike Companies

What separates Italian bikes from all others is their pedigree. Few can match the status of these historically important brands that have richly contributed to the sport of road racing.

Alas, the aura and legend of bikes designed and made by Italian hands are increasingly under more and more duress. It's a pity.

Taiwan is now king but I hope one day Italian bikes reestablish their well-deserved reputation of excellence much like the resurgence we see in Italian motorcycles.

For now, the aura and mythical status of the 'Made in Italy' mark remains important.

Italy's economy, however, as a whole is not performing well and its current political situation is not helping matters. The parochial mindset gripping Italy (see soccer with the national team and Serie A dismal state at the moment) needs to change. This is why it's a good thing North American Italians proud of their heritage are willing to invest in soccer teams in Italy.

They bring with them passion, money and exposure to a wider audience. And how do Italians react? These are not 'real' Italians while making it hard for them to operate through the Kafka-esque, dismal Byzantium, myopic 'it's better to be a big fish in a small pond' mental posture that is Italian business as Mike Piazza is learning as owner of Reggiana.

It's an unfortunate way to look at things.

So this will be the challenge.

On a personal level, I own a 'Made in Canada' bike of Italian origin. The owner is a passionate Italian bike maker who settled here in Montreal. I'm proud to own it. I would also buy a 'Made in the U.S.A.' (Moots bikes attract me) and where I could find one a 'Made in Italy' before I buy one manufactured in Taiwan.

It just doesn't have the history, panache and soul. Honda makes fantastic cars that are reliable.

They're also boring.

Alfa-Romeo may not match the level of reliability but man oh man they more than make up for it on driver experience.

Same with the bicycles. A Pinarello is still a Pinarello.


Friday, January 5, 2018

Manufacturing Off To A Great Start In 2018

I really need to quell this laziness.


Buon Anno a tutti!

And it's a happy new year it looks like in Italy's manufacturing industry.

"The Italian plastic and rubber machinery manufacturing sector is set to post 5 percent growth for the year 2017, with an estimated all-time high of $5.4 billion worth of production, according to industry association Amaplast.
Citing figures by Italy's state statistics body ISTAT, Amaplast also reported a 12 percent increase in imports of machinery and a 16 percent year-on-year rise in machinery exports in the first nine months of 2017...."

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Return Of A Legend To F1

The resurgence of the Alfa-Romeo brand continues as the auto legend announces a return to F1 in a partnership with Sauber.

This is great news given Alfa's long and rich racing tradition. It never felt right they were not involved in racing. The base root of what Italian cars are about is racing.