Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ga-Ga For Gaggia

I think I've settled on a cappuccino machine. My Saeco is eight years old and has served me loyally with very little problems but it's time for a change.

At the moment, Gaggia (the maker of the first modern steamless machine) is the one I'm looking to switch to. Keep you posted.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Osella Squadra Corse

Established in the 1960s, Osella was active in Grand Prix racing (as it was called once upon a time - I happened to be a fan. I was subscribed to Grand Prix magazine and my father used to take my brother me every year during the 80s) in the 1980s and 1990s. It actually was pretty successful with a solid lineup of drivers that included Eddie Cheever, Elio de Angelis (I still remember his tragic death), and for you real race fans Teo Fabi. Now there's a name from the past.

Fellow Canadian Allen Berg was also part of the Osella universe.

Not sure where the company ended up. Sounds like every other manufacturer: In the arms of Fiat.

Pic from

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Revolutionary Instrument This Piano

Bartolomeo Cristofori. He who invented an instrument we call the piano. Or as he called it, "piano e forte."

How Many Volts?

Alessandro Volta's corrosive invention was the battery.

What, you think the word 'Volt' came out of a Wagner opera?

Seeing Things Better

Prior to the late 13th century, generally, eye glasses came with no arms settling on the bridge of the nose instead. Salvino D'Artmate is credited with having invented the eye glass. Although it has been asserted Alessandro Spina may have in fact been the first to do so.

From Richard D. Drewery., MD:

In 1289 in a manuscript entitled Traite de con uite de la famille, di Popozo wrote: "I am so debilita-ted-by age that without the glasses known as spectacles, I would no longer be able to read or write. These have recently been invented for the benefit of poor old people whose sight has become weak". Thus it appears that the first spectacles were made between 1268 and 1289. In 1306 a monk of Pisa delivered a sermon in which he stated: "It is not yet twenty years since the art of making spectacles, one of the most useful arts on earth, was discovered. 1, myself, have seen and conversed with the man who made them first". The name of the true inventor of eyeglasses remains lost in obscurity.

After this, as is usually the case, many inventors and innovators from other parts of Europe - notably England - improved eye glass wear.
For their part, Italians have remained at the forefront of eye glass technology over time.
As of yet, I only wear sun glasses - another area Italian designers excel in. Actually, I wear Arnette. I have somewhat of a small frame so most sun glasses tend to overwhelm my face (decorated with delicate but distinct features - ahem)  but my Arnette's fit perfectly. Not sure where Tommy Arnette was born though.