Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chocolate Tycoon Ferrero Dies

Ferrero SpA is a chocolate company founded in 1946. It produces, among other items, Nutella and Ferrero Rocher chocolate. Its products are made by machines built by an in-house engineering department.

A member of its family -  Pietro Ferrero - died while cycling in Africa.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rare And Expensive Cars

Three Italian cars plus one (Bugatti) with Italian origins, make 'the most expensive cars in the world' list. Not surprisingly, three German, two British, one American and French - basically the great car manufacturing nations - cars make the cut. Britain's Aston Martin Lagonda have a few of its awesome cars designed by Zagato of Italy but the Vanguish I believe is British designed.

Love Aston Martin.

Nor is it much of a surprise, I reckon, three Italian cars are present. Many Italian luxury items would be found on such lists.

Image: Pagani Zonda.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nuclear Energy Vote

Not the best timing given what's going on in Japan, but Italians are set to vote on whether to reinvest in nuclear energy.

Living not too far off the Vermont border, I see commercials from that state appealing to Vermonters to keep Yankee energy open.

To be honest, I'm not sure why there's even a debate. If we want cleaner energy and less dependency on oil, nuclear power is the way to go from what I've read and been told.

Solar energy, ethanol and all that seem so costly (to say nothing of unintended consequences) and impractical for now. It's good we explore but are these legitimate alternatives to nuclear energy?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Andsaldo: Engineering Roots

Giovanni Ansaldo established one of Italy's most important engineering firms in the 19th century. Over its illustrious history, Ansaldo was present first in the railway then shipbuilding; in the 20th century ironworks, and weapons, and was finally incorporated within Finmeccanica where the Ansaldo name is used in nuclear fusion and fuel cells technology.  The combined forces formed Italy's largest thermo-electric group.

Tracing the history of Italian companies is rarely straightforward!

Pic from Finmeccanica site. Ansaldo Energia gas turbines.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Italian Perspective On Perfection

The video from J.Crew in the link is something only a few people will ever get to witness first hand. This blog tries to stress the fact that Italy's methods of production is rooted in art and passion. In the video, you find out people have been making shoes handmade for 30 years in the same place. There's a sense of loyalty to their craft that sets Italy apart from many countries.

Personally, I've visited such places including pasta makers. People have no idea what goes into even making something as simple as ice-cream in Italy. Whether it's shoes, cars, bikes or food, they all posses the same characteristics. Things like attention to detail, no compromise on quality, patience, passion. In many ways, they respect the consumer's tastes and opinions.

Years ago my friend set out to buy a machine to cut metal tubings for his company. He found a machine that interested in Venice and flew out to see it. What impressed him most, among many things, is how clean the shop was. We don't see places in heavy industry as clean as your home he said to me.

I have many stories like this I've collected over the years through simple, casual conversations with people from all over. They all want to perfect their craft somewhere in the expressive peninsula the world calls Italy.

Hence, why "Made in Italy" holds a special branding power.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sharp Saw Blades With A Latin Edge

Watching a carpenter change the blade on his saw, we struck a conversation about the cost of such blades.

I asked him if saw blades were still manufactured in the U.S. or Europe. "Italy in fact," he replied. I examined the blade made in Italy by a company called Freud.

The origins of the company are not disclosed on the site. I was curious to learn about the name.

No information either as to whether they were part of the Saw movies franchise.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Heartbeat Gene Discovered

Scientists locate hearbeat gene.

Collina: Best Referee Of The Last Quarter Century

Italian soccer prowess comes in many forms. Their league clubs have won more trophies (and finals appearances) than any league in Europe (no easy feat considering the excellence in England, Spain and Germany and combining five major tournaments - Champions League, UEFA/Europa, Cup Winners Cup, Intercontinental/World Club and Super Cup; not to mention Mitropa a precursor to all major tournaments and a prestigious one in the pre-war era), the Azzurri have won the World Cup four times and reached the finals on six occasions (second only to Brazil with five wins and Germany's seven finals appearances), its players head many all-time great lists from around the world and have won several awards and now its referees have also been recognized.

According to IFFHS, Dr. Pierluigi Collina heads the list of top referees of the last 25 years.

Italians lead all nations with 14 representatives out of 140 referees. England is next with 12.

I'm sure that boob Sepp Blatter is pleased. Inside quip for Azzurri fans.

One Day A Lancia Will Be Mine

I believe it's the 50th anniversary of the first Lancia Flavia - one of my all-time favorite cars.