Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Buon Anno

And so we say good-bye to 2016 and salute 2017.

Be well, play and drive safe e cent'anni!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The OM 665S: A Forgotten Machine

How's this for a story.

1927 was the year the Mille Miglia race began its ascent into legendary status. A competition it helped to make iconic brands like Alfa Romeo and Porsche. For more on the Mille Miglia - which was reborn in 1977 after a 20 year hiatus - visit here.

But it wasn't those cars or Ferrari or Maserati or BMW who won its first race. That distinction belonged to the cool looking OM 665S (aka the Superba) of the Officine Mecchaniche company.

An obscure, long forgotten automobile it also won at Le Mans. Despite its early success and promise, the company eventually stopped producing cars and focused on truck and buses. By 1938, it was closely affiliated with the FIAT group (manufacturing, among other things, train parts) only to permanently be absorbed thirty years later and seven years after that came under the control of IVECO.

So what was the ultimate fate of a company who won the first Mille Miglia? It exists today as a forklift manufacturer.

Quite an evolution don't you think?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Innovative Italians: Microcars

Hey, for what it's worth, belated Merry Christmas/Buon Natale.

Check this baby out. I have no idea what's being said but it's a cool video:

It's the Italian designed 'microcar' Iso Isetta. It went on to be licensed in a number of different countries including Germany (seen in the video) with the 250, 300 and 600 models.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fall Of An Iconic Name: Bertone

The last time I mentioned Gruppo Bertone it was in 2010 and the company was still operating. In fact, it designed the 2013 Aston-Martin Rapide.

Unfortunately, one of the most famous and iconic of names in automotive design filed for bankruptcy in 2014.

The list of brands Bertone worked with is substantial and impressive including the likes of Citroen, BMW, Ferrari, Mazda, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Volvo and Ford to name a few.

Being from Montreal, it's appropriate for me to mention they also designed the Alfa-Romeo Montreal created for Expo 67. The exquisite Montreal was designed by one of the 20th century's top car designers Marcello Gandini 

It's a shame about Bertone but at least it leaves behind a catalog and creations we will marvel at for posterity.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Corvette And Its Cisitalia Connection

The Cisitalia 202's role in spawning an American icon: Corvette.

"...What it was all about, of course, was a two-seater convertible sports car. Working from Earl’s rough outline, McLean and Bohnstedt came up with a design for the car’s body that appears to have been inspired by an Italian roadster called the Cisitalia 202. In those days, most sports cars had long engine compartments that narrowed almost to a point at the front end of the car, with broad, flowing fenders that were a separate and quite distinct element of the car’s design. Not so with the new GM roadster: Like the Cisitalia 202, it was a low, flat, wide, almost square box with fenders that were integrated into the rest of the body. Today the integrated-fender look is standard—it’s so common that it’s difficult to even remember what cars looked like when their fenders were separate from the rest of the engine compartment. But to see that look on a roadster in the 1950s was not only novel, it was stunning."

Sunday, December 11, 2016

It's In The Blood

The Italian automotive Renaissance 1945-1975:

"...With their startling, often sensual designs, Italian cars from the mid-century had an immense influence on the automotive industry around the world. The successful racing efforts of Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia, and Alfa Romeo ensured that Italian automakers dominated international competition. Lessons from racing were applied to the design of road cars and Italy’s auto industry helped lead an international styling renaissance. In 1954, Road & Track declared, “The Italian influence leads the automotive design world. It remains consistent, commanding, spirited and graceful.”

The artistic and innovative spirit of the Renaissance never left the Italian soul.

But it's in dire need of an economic and political Renaissance.

Beauty And Design: 'It Seems The Italian Eye Is Second To None'

Nice quick overview of Italian genius that has put it at the scientific, engineering, artistic and technological forefront of Western and world history.

Italians have generally had their hands in the 'cookie jar of history'.

In addition, to its visible legacy, Italians have also been big 'invisible' players throughout the ages. For example, Italian merchants bank rolling the early stages of the age of exploration.

Here's a list of Italian inventions.

From eyeglasses to the battery to the jacuzzi and pretzel. The 'geographic expression' Metternich once scoffed at has played its part in the advancement of world history.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Beauty Of Iso Grifo

Italians In Space

Italy just isn't about sexy cars, boats, planes and motorcycles. An engineering culture - and rich scientific pedigree - like Italy will naturally look to the skies and beyond.

We even have seen a couple of them honoured by the ESA including Giovanni Domenico Cassini (who helped organize the Paris Observatory) with the Cassini Mission to Saturn. Giovanni Schiaparelli who was named five times and fairly recently physicist Edoardo Amaldo.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016

Lancia's Overlooked High Pedigree

While Ferrari and Porsche rightfully hog all the attention, we tend to forget other legendary auto racing cars that have proven to be consistent campions on the track in various races across the globe.

One car manufacturer with an outstanding pedigree but overlooked nevertheless is Lancia.

Particularly, where racing is concerned the Lancia Delta (Group A) and Stratos (designed by Bertone's Marcello Gandini*).

The former having won 46 World Rally Championship races and six constructors titles and the latter 18 and 3. In total, Lancia earned 10 world titles.  The Stratos was named among the 'coolest' sports cars in history (joined by three Ferrari and Maserati models) by Top Gear.

Lancia has not won since 1992 and in recent years France (led by Peugeot and Citroen) as dominated the WRC.


*Galdini once made the short list for 'car designer of the century'. A list dominated by 11 Italians (won by Georgetto Giugiaro) and 10 Americans. Followed by 3 French designers and Germany and Sweden sharing 1 each. Incidentally, there was also a 'car engineer of the century' list compiled. That one was led by 8 who were German (with Ferdinand Porsche selected as the winner), 8 British, 3 Italian and 2 American and Austrian.

In total 14 Italians made the cut. More than any country. Not too shabby. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Vintage Cimbali And Ghia's Spirit In The Bat-Mobile

What is/was the Lincoln Futura?

I suppose the best way to explain it is with the following picture:

Yes, the Bat-Mobile is a Lincoln Futura. But what's that got to do with a blog that focuses on Italian engineering?

Well, turns out even the Bat-Mobile couldn't escape the omnipotence of Italian auto design as it was designed by Ghia (though the car was modified to its iconic look we saw in the Bat-Man series from the 1960s).


I came across the fine looking espresso machine the other day.  It's a rare Microcimbali with a spring lever.

Just thought it was relevant to bring up since I enjoy espresso and building espresso machines takes a certain amount of tech design and engineering.

The closest I came to find more about it here in North America was in this youtube video:

Monday, November 21, 2016

From Middle-Class To Concept Classics

The Autobianchi company was a creation of Pirelli, Fiat and Bianchi in 1955. After being brought under the Lancia umbrella by way of Fiat, it ceased operations in 1995.


An ode to Italy's endless stream of auto engineers and designers. Today, it's Franco Scaglione. (Lugi Rapi designed the Bianchina in the video above).

I'm a sucker for tortured brilliant minds who died penniless and with little recognition despite their work still being appreciated today.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Italy And The U.S. Forge Closer Partnership On Technology Front

Earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sponsored a Technology Expo at Wayne State University in Michigan looking to foster a stronger technological partnership between Italy and the United States.

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."

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.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Iconic Vespa Turns 70

And so the little scooter that could has reached another milestone.

It's always interesting to watch the evolution of an invention borne of necessity rooted in humbleness turn into an international symbol of style in transportation.

Why would you buy anything but a Vespa if you're considering a scooter?

No disrespect to Honda (that outfit of great quality) makes them but may as well ride your lawn mower. Part of the reason of owning a Vespa is to ride mystique and be a part of history.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Latest Italian Cycling Fabric And Design Fashion

From Cyclingnews:

"Here is what you need to know about Giro Chrono: Luigi Bergamo, the man behind Assos R&D for years and years, worked closely with the Californian brand on the design and fabric sourcing for the road clothing. The Chrono Pro jersey and bibs shorts are not cheap, but they are closer to earth than Assos or the boutique offerings of Bergamo's own premium brand, Q36.5."

Italian Tech And Engineering Leaving Mark In Middle-East

"...A group of Italian architects are resurrecting parts of the war-ravaged ancient Syrian city of Palmyra by recreating the 2,000-year-old Triumphal Arch from the Temple of Bel – much of which was destroyed by the Islamic State (ISIL) over the past year.

The 3D robotic printers are being used to print the arch in Italy’s Carrara mountains so as to bring the historic ruins back to life. Later this month, it will go on display in London’s Trafalgar Square and New York’s Times Square before being taken to Palmyra."

More here.

Meanwhile in Iraq its engineers are fast at work:

"...A team of Italian specialists arrived Thursday at the site of the Mosul Dam as part of an emergency campaign to repair Iraq’s largest dam before it collapses.

The advance team from the Italian engineering firm Trevi Group will set up a camp for the group of engineers who are expected to arrive within a few weeks.

U.S. and Iraqi officials have repeatedly warned that the dam is in imminent danger of collapse."

Monday, March 21, 2016

Meet Luigi Negrelli: The Man Behind The Suez Canal

"Luigi Negrelli, or Alois Negrelli in German, an almost exact contemporary of Brunel and Robert Stephenson, was one of the most outstanding civil engineers of his time. His remark-able technical gifts as a road, hydraulic and railway engineer and his ability to plan and supervise large engineering projects soon won him recognition in the Austrian Empire and well beyond its frontiers. He played an important part in the design of the Suez Canal, although he died before the beginning of the construction of the canal in 1859."

Negrelli, though born on Italian soil and possessing of Italian blood, was also from Tyrol by his maternal lineage and was mostly educated in Austria.

Read his Suez Canal story here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

British Car Manufacturers Look To Compete With Italian And German Competitors

"Britain's supercar makers are rivalling the best that the Italians and Germans have to offer.

Good for Britain. A nation with its own outstanding sports car and racing legacy. It's only fitting they're looking to match their German and Italian rivals. A rivalry - which includes France, the United States and later on Japan -  that's being going on since the early 20th century.

As a result, enthusiasts and consumers alike benefit as we get to gawk over these engineering feats.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Snippets Of Italy

What does 'Made in Italy' mean today?


A country that continues to explore its artistic soul through creative minds like Beppe Giacobbe.


Meet architect Renzo Piano. The brilliant mind behind the Centre Georges Pompidou, Shard London Bridge and The New York Times Building.




Rebirth of Matera:

“You don’t think of a cave being complex architecturally,” says American architect Anne Toxey, author of Materan Contradictions, who has been studying the Sassi for over 20 years. “But I was blown away by their intricate structures.” The most elaborate stonework dates from the Renaissance, when many caves were adorned with new facades, or had their ceilings extended to make vaulted rooms. Today, carved stone stairways still connect arches, attics, belfries and balconies, each grafted onto the other like a dynamic Cubist sculpture. Hidden behind iron grilles are rock-hewn churches, created by Byzantine monks, with splendidly frescoed interiors. On the opposite side of the ravine, on a plateau called the Murgia, more mysterious caves stare back like vacant eyes."

“Matera is one of the oldest living cities in the world in terms of continuity,” Antonio Nicoletti, an urban planner from Matera, told me. “You can find older cities in Mesopotamia, but they have not been occupied in modern times. Where else can you now sleep in a room that was first occupied 9,000 years ago?” Estimates of the earliest occupation of the site vary, but archaeologists have found artifacts in local caves dating to the Neolithic period and even earlier.

"...In southern Italy, the past has often helped rescue the present. Ever since the excavation of Pompeii brought grand tours to Naples in the 18th century, historical sites have lured foreign travelers to impoverished outposts. But Matera may be Europe’s most radical rags-to-riches story. Located in the instep of the Italian boot, the town has always been an isolated, forgotten part of Basilicata, among the least populated, least visited and least understood regions of Italy. Even in the 19th century, few travelers ventured through its arid, desolate landscapes, which were known to be full of briganti, or brigands. "

Stories like Matera only add to Italy's place as one of the world's greatest museum of civilization.

Mobiles Drive Fashion Sales

Yoox Net-A-Porter has embraced Apple iPhones and mobile devices as part of its sales platform.

CEO Federico Marchetti:

"...Around 50 percent of our sales came from people ordering on smartphones," Marchetti told AFPTV in an interview at Milan fashion week.

"Frankly speaking if the iPhone had not been invented that figure would be much lower. So I have to say thank you to Steve Jobs. It is thanks to him that we can do our business..."

"...Marchetti believes the next wave of growth will be powered by a new generation of dedicated fashion-retail smartphone apps, something he sees as even more important in the short term than 
the potential of emerging markets.

"I see something more tomorrow in the smartphone rather than India," he said.

Maserati Enters Crossover Market

With the Levante, Maserati has created its first SUV.  I believe the 102 year-old company considered a similar endeavor as early as the late 1920s ( several decades before the genre took off) but abandoned the idea.

I'm not sure what to make of this decision. Maserati's brand is a unique one and to enter such a market pits them against companies much more entrenched like Lexus, BMW and specifically Porsche.

I suppose Italy has to start somewhere. Maybe they see changing demand for such cars but will Italians go for it? Will North Americans consider the Maserati option instead of their sedans?

More to the point, the Levante - fitted with a 350hp V6 - sports the similar design of competitors and hardly differentiates itself despite its legendary roots:

"...The new Maserati SUV is based on the Quattroporte and Ghibli architecture, further evolved and refined to meet the expectations of this market segment, in which Maserati will compete for the first time."

I think where it it really displays an Italian edge is with the interior:

"...The interior has been created with the finest materials, most exquisite to the touch, from optional premium leather to Ermenegildo Zegna silk, made in Trivero by the Zegna wool mill with a patented process."

The SUV retails for about $76 000 USD.

Quotes from Autoblog.
Image from RoadandTrack.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan Plays Role In Preventative Cancer Treatment

"A revolutionary cancer treatment that remembers the disease and remains like a watchman to prevent it returning is being developed.

Immune cells are being engineered so they not only boost the body’s natural defences to fight tumours but stand guard for life, acting like a vaccine.

The study, presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Washington DC, has proven for the first time that engineered “memory T-cells” can persist in the body for 14-plus years.

"Prof Chiara Bonini, a haematologist at San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, said: “T-cells are a living drug, and in particular have the potential to persist in our body for our whole lives.

“Imagine when you are given a vaccine as a kid and you are protected against flu for all of your life. Why is that? Because when a T-cell encounters the antigen and gets activated, it kills the pathogen but also persists as a memory cell.”

In trials at a Milan hospital, 10 patients who had bone marrow transplants were given immune boosting therapy that included the memory T-cells."

Excellent and amazing news. 

Finmeccanica's Project Zero

Finmeccanica's Project Zero styled by Bertone - the company that designed Lambretta and a host of cars including Alfa-Romeo, Mercedes, Citroen and Aston-Martin.

From Finmeccanica's website:

"Project Zero is the only unmanned technological development programme in the world that brings together electric propulsion, the vertical take-off and landing capabilities of a helicopter and the in-flight speed and altitude performance of an aeroplane. A result of Finmeccanica’s collaboration with research agencies and companies from Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan, Project Zero has led to the design of new technologies which can be applied to other new products under development. Finmeccanica’s excellence in vertical flight is also represented by existing successful aircraft such as the AgustaWestland AW101, the market-leading medium-weight, multi-role helicopter, and the intermediate models AW169 and AW139. Over 340 Finmeccanica helicopters have been ordered to date by defence, government and commercial operators in the region. These aifcraft carry out naval, utility, national security, search and rescue, helicopter-ambulance and maritime patrol missions."

Monday, February 15, 2016

Knight Rider Gets Italian Make Over

"Fans of 1980s cult TV show Knight Rider can pick up an exact replica of KITT, described as 'absolutely identical in every detail' to the car driven by Michael Knight - at auction today.

The car even talks and can open the windows if you ask, but before you channel your inner Hoff and shop for a new leather jacket, you'll need to find some serious cash and start learning the phrase 'aprire le finestre'.
That's because if you want to ask this estimated £35,000 KITT replica to open those windows, you're going to have to do it in Italian."

Admittedly, though Knight Rider was enormously popular and part of my youth in the 1980s, I wasn't much of a fan having watched it only time to time.

I was more into The A-Team.

Hey. To each his own.

The important thing is Knight Rider now has Italian flair and that's a good thing.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Italian Contribution In The History Of Nash-Healey

Sports car legend Nash-Healey possesses a wonderful history and one in which Italy had a role.

Conceived in 1951 as a partnership between British automaker Donald Healey and the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation it was the first sports car manufactured in the United States. It quickly emerged as one of the great sports cars of its era. Healey commissioned Pininfarina to redesign the brand with the assembly taking place in Warwick, Turin and Kenosha in Wisconsin.

Pic (and story) from Sports Car One.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Trevi Group To Fix Dam In Iraq

"The Iraqi government and an Italian engineering firm have finally reached a tentative agreement that could provide a long-term fix for the world’s most dangerous dam. But the tricky repairs needed to prevent a catastrophic failure at the Mosul Dam, in northern Iraq, could potentially make a bad situation even worse."

"...On Tuesday, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni confirmed that the Iraqi government and the Trevi Group of Italy were close to finally signing a deal for long-term repair of the dam’s foundation. The Italian company has been trying to secure the Mosul contract since last year, but concerns about the Islamic State’s continued presence and questions about security at the work site have delayed any work so far. Gentiloni said on Tuesday that talks with Baghdad about the dispatch of up to 450 Italian troops to protect the site are well advanced."

"The Trevi Group has carried out similar work at more than 150 other troubled dams, including in the United States. The Wolf Creek Dam in Kentucky, for example, was built on geology similar to that at the Mosul Dam and faced the same kind of seepage problem. Between 2006 and 2013, Trevi built a concrete wall under the dam’s embankment, known as a “cutoff wall,” that acts as a barrier to seepage and ends the threat of erosion caused when water hits limestone, gypsum, or other minerals..."

More at Foreign Policy magazine.

The Trevi Group come with a substantial resume including being an integral player in the raising of the Costa Concordia submerged and stuck in waters of Giglio island.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Images of Lombardia

As you know, this blog's stated objective is to explore Italy's industrial and technological side but it's cultural heritage runs so deep it's almost impossible to ignore it. I don't know how I've managed to keep such a stoic posture given the country's cultural magnificence.

Alas, perhaps the time has come for me to consider posting the odd cultural gem Italy offers in abundance. Indeed, it almost feels criminal to not do so.

Looking up some information on Atalanta soccer, I came across the interestingly majestic photo of the city of Bergamo (home to Atalanta) which is situated north of Milan in the Lombardy region.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Apple Opens First European iOS App Development Center In Naples

In tech news:

"Apple® today announced the creation of Europe’s first iOS App Development Center in Italy, to give students practical skills and training on developing iOS apps for the world’s most innovative and vibrant app ecosystem.

The iOS App Development Center, to be located at a partner institution in Naples, will support teachers and provide a specialized curriculum preparing thousands of future developers to be part of Apple’s thriving developer community. In addition, Apple will work with partners around Italy who deliver developer training to complement this curriculum and create additional opportunities for students. Apple expects to expand this program to other countries around the world.

“Europe is home to some of the most creative developers in the world and we’re thrilled to be helping the next generation of entrepreneurs in Italy get the skills they need for success,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The phenomenal success of the App Store is one of the driving forces behind the more than 1.4 million jobs Apple has created in Europe and presents unlimited opportunities for people of all ages and businesses of all sizes across the continent.”

"...Thousands of companies are expanding because of their work with Apple, which supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in communities large and small across Europe. Milan-based Laboratorio Elettrofisico makes some of the most sophisticated magnetization equipment in the world and their technology enables some of the industry-leading magnetic features found in Apple products. Apple also works with Europe’s leading manufacturers of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, which create tiny components that power some of the incredible sensor and audio technologies found in iOS devices."

Keeping Things Clean With Johnny Vac

Check out my new Johnny Vac.

Vacuuming in Italian style! Okay, it's not easy trying to make a vacuum hip but you have to admit Johnny Vac is a cool name.

Anyway, way better than a Shop-Vac. Sturdier, easier to maneuver and the micro-filter sacs make for a less dustier ordeal. Just a much better machine all-around.