Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Thursday, September 29, 2016

New Additions At Ferrari

Ferrari unveils two of its newest creations.

One is being pegged as the fastest convertible ever.

"The convertible supercar, called the LaFerrari Aperta, costs $2.2 million. But it was still sold out even before Ferrari (RACE) announced, back in July, that it would debut in Paris this month."

"...The convertible also has the same 217 mile-per-hour top speed as the hardtop LaFerrari. It's unusual for a convertible to be able to go as fast as a hardtop car due to the compromised aerodynamics. With the roof open but its side windows up, the Aperta is just as aerodynamic as the hardtop car, according to Ferrari."

And the other:

"Ferrari also unveiled Thursday the GTC4Lusso T, a car meant for practical daily use. It's a V8-powered version of a car that had previously been available only with Ferrari's famed V12 engine. The turbocharged V8 produces 602 horsepower compared to the V12's 680 horsepower. But it will still get the car from zero to 60 miles an hour in under 3.5 seconds, only slightly slower than the V12."

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Saturday, August 13, 2016

On The Cutting Edge Of Educational Concepts

From time to time I like to introduce some stories outside the overall theme of this blog. In this post, we take a look at some innovative developments happening in Italy on the education front. Such innovations are not new in a country where Montessori and Reggio Emilia Way (child care) originated. And so it is with Avanguardie Educative (TEAL) and La Scuola Open Source.


"Threading elements of the great educational experiments of Bauhaus and Roycroft Community models together with Pierre Levy’s modern definition of “collective intelligence,” La Scuola Open Source (The Open Source School) embodies the principles of the sharing movement. Its success hinges on cooperative work, co-design, shared skills, and an open source culture. The school's 13 co-founders believe in the power of people's collaborative qualities. Their unusual constitution is testimony to this."

Italian Influence On American Design

From the Istituto Italiano di cultura in Washington D.C. comes a discussion on Italian influences on American design.


"Before design as product and practice was segmented into theoretical camps like product design, systems design, speculative design and discursive design, a generation of Italian designers created works that provoked thought and proposed social commentary while simultaneously existing as products.  Ideas were made into things that could meet the imperatives of industry, which included the necessity of being made and used.  The work of design luminaries such as Colombo, Castiglione, Aulenti, Sotsass and Pesce pushed the boundaries of the design world. The relationship between thought provoking design and industry is one of the significant aspects of Italian design that has exerted a particular influence on international design and it has served as a model of flexible practice that has inspired a new generation of American designers."

"...Design is at its core a visible language. The language of design includes color, shape, form, line, scale, and function. When these elements of the design language are used together to create a series of symbols, this is considered a visual system. One question to ask based on the XXI Triennale Concepts: How can we design visual systems with visible language in a globalized world? The influences between Italian and American Visual Systems are numerous. Two examples of Italian-American influences visual systems are here in Washington, DC: the signage system for the Washington, DC Metro System, and another in New York City: the subway map, both designed by Massimo and Lella Vignelli."

Bizarre Concepts Italian Style

When you have a great engineering and design heritage that runs long and deep like Italy, you're bound to have some, erm, bizarre creations.

In this video,  Italy's contribution come via OSI Silver Fox (1967), Fiat Panda 4x4 monster truck and Italcorsca (1951).

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Spotlight On Gilera

Gilera won 6 MotoGP/500cc constructors championships between 1950-1957 making champions of Umberto Masetti, Geoff Duke and Libero Liberati along the way.

These days Gilera falls under the Piaggio group.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Inspired By Nature, Italian Scientists Invent 'Self-Cleaning' Metal

‘The wings of some beetles in the Sahara desert are shaped by evolution to be antibacterial,’ Professor Romoli told The Times.

‘They have nano-tubules and nanoedges that break the exterior cellular membrane of the bacteria.

‘The changes you can see on the wings of butterflies are also achieved through nano-patterns that exchange heat by convection.

‘Recently this type of architecture was applied to microprocessors to increase the heat exchange.’

A number of non-stick pans made out of Teflon already exist on the market, but once the pan is scratched, it usually needs to be replaced.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Preserving The Integrity Of Olive Oil: Technology To The Rescue

In the face of deceitful practices from bottling to content to packaging, olive oil producer Bellucci operating out of Grossetto (a town situated roughly in the middle of Florence and Rome) is using technology to keep consumers informed about their EVOO.

"...CEO Gerard Jara said, "Our trace-to-source technology allows us to fulfill consumer demand for authentic, fresh, healthy, and honest EVOO at a time when integrity is what matters. The app enables us to connect our customers to the source of their EVOO in small family groves in rural Italy and gives users the skill they need to taste for freshness and flavors distinct to genuine EVOO. They'll learn how to authenticate EVOO." 

Read story here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Recap: 99th Edition Of The Giro d'Italia

Nice summary by (Cycling News TV) inCycle including the interesting and legendary story of la Maglia Nera. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Italian Economy Struggling

It's worth noting, as I've done in the past, that Italy's economy thanks in part to highly restrictive labor laws is in extreme duress.

From Market Watch:

"When Italy reports its first-quarter gross-domestic-product figures Friday, economists are expecting just 0.3% growth from the previous quarter. That would be just half the rate of the eurozone as a whole, according to Eurostat.

Italy's economy grew 0.8% last year, the first positive result in four years. But by the fourth quarter, that growth had largely petered out, amid worsening global conditions.

However Italy's troubles -- related to family ownership, little forward planning and low productivity -- reflect long-standing structural problems."

"...Mr. Masuelli considered firing some of his five employees, but the rigid labor laws meant the cost of dismissing them was too high. At the same time, new health and safety regulations have eaten into profit."

Such an economic landscape is bound to have a negative impact on the entrepreneurial spirit and for a place like Italy - where inventions and innovations are as part of the landscape as earth, wind, water and fire - this can have a major negative impact.

Kill the red tape. It's corroding Italy's spirit. 

High taxes don't help either. At the moment, Italy has more parasites than producers and that gap is widening as more as the country is experiencing a net outflow of 'high net-worth individuals.

This is a cautionary tale for Americans who don't see much to worry about with populists like Sanders. But they should. Europe is an example in real time telling us left-wing policies are a disaster.

Italy In Space

It should come as no surprise the land of Rome and the Renaissance would continue its engineering heritage in space.



"Italy, one of the key players of the European Space Agency (ESA), is continuously building up its important role in human spaceflight and in international space cooperation. The country of seven astronauts is shaping the future of Europe's next generation launch vehicles and is actively taking part in ESA's space exploration projects. In an interview with, Italian Space Agency (ASI) President Roberto Battiston, talks his presidency and Italy's contribution to spaceflight."


One of the key responsibilities and contributions of the Italian Space Agency is to build Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules (MPLM)

"The modules were provided to NASA under contract by the Italian Space Agency (ASI). Three MPLMs were built and delivered to NASA and have names chosen by the ASI to denote some of the great talents in Italian history: Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello and Donatello. Although built by ASI, the modules are owned by NASA. In exchange for building the MPLMs, ASI receives access to U.S. research time on the ISS."
Italy, one of the key players of the European Space Agency (ESA), is continuously building up its important role in human spaceflight and in international space cooperation. The country of seven astronauts is shaping the future of Europe's next generation launch vehicles and is actively taking part in ESA's space exploration projects. In an interview with, Italian Space Agency (ASI) President Roberto Battiston, talks his presidency and Italy's contribution to spaceflight.

Read more at:

Italian Engineering Clip Courtesy Of Simex

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

2016 Giro d'Italia Is In Full Swing

It's unfortunate Sportsnet is no longer broadcasting professional cycling. Anyway, the most unpredictable and exciting of all the major races is well under way. The 99th edition of the Giro d'Italia started in cycling mad Holland and completed the fourth stage at Praia a Mare today.

Here are some pictures from the opening day.

Among the Italian bikes represented is MCipollini used by the Bardiani-CSF team.


Other bikes at Giro:

De Rosa (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Colnago, Pinarello and Wilier Triestina.