Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Happy Holidays

It's a little late for Merry Christmas so let's just go with a blanket merry happy holidays.

And now for a non-sequitur piece of humour.

Lost In The Shuffle: Trucks

Sports cars, motor cycles, bicycles, planes and even boats get a lot of luck here but trucks not so much despite its own long and rich history on the Italian engineering landscape.

Not surprisingly, the principal manufacturer of trucks in Italy is Fiat (including this one) but there are others including Astra, Tortonesi and Officine Meccaniche and believe it or not Alfa-Romeo with the 430 pictured below:

Alfa-Romeo also built a maxi-yacht.

Lancia is another car maker (they of rally racing fame) who manufactured trucks (and buses and jollybuses). Their first was the Jota in 1915. Lancia dabbled in military vehicles, tractors, boats and concept bikes. One of their chasis was the Esagamma last built in 1973:

For its part, Iveco (owned - including Astra mentioned above - by CNH with headquarters in the UK and Holland) based in Turin is an innovative major manufacture of engines. 

Monday, November 25, 2019

A Bizzarrini Masterpiece: 5300 GT Strada

Giotto Bizzarrini designed this beaut. You can pick one up for about 538 000 EUROS (or about  $800 000 CDN).

Check out the Lancia's in the video. Such a severely under rated car: And criminally under appreciated for their innovations.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Italian Civil Engineering Tested By Venice

Genius went into building Venice and it will take genius to save it.

Although, a good start would be to stop allowing Cruise ships into the Lagoon.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Forgotten People: Michele Besso

Albert Einstein's closest friend and confidante was a compatriot and Swiss/Italian engineer named Michele Besso.

Besso was the only person Einstein worked with when  made his famous discovery.  Besso stood alongside as a capable and competent sounding board for Einstein as he developed the Theory of Relativity. As such, he represented a tremendous help to Einstein. They died one month apart with Einstein passing after.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fiat Chrysler And Peugeot Merge

Fiat Chrysler merges with Peugeot forming the 4th largest company in the world.

But what does it mean for Italian brands under the Fiat banner - Maserati and Alfa Romeo - in North America?

Time will tell.

Hope those customers who purchased the Stelvio or Giulia don't get, well, screwed.

I myself wanted to join the ranks with an Italian car but feared exactly this possibility of 'cut and run'.

Dario Pegoretti's Art Form

Inside the Bottega of bicycle creativity. 

It's been rumoured the Pinarello Miguel Indurain rode to five Tour de France titles was actually made by Pegoretti.

Shorter Pegoretti:

Am I artist? Maybe. Maybe not? Who knows? Boh.


/Begins welding. Splashes paint. 

Italians are mad geniuses. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Ford V. Ferrari: Lemans

With Ford V. Ferrari out here's a story between the two rivals from the 1965 LeMans race.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Giovanni Michelotti And The Triumph Spitfire

Among the greatest and most prolific car designers in history, Michelotti is the mind behind the legendary Triumph Spitfire which he considered his favourite creation.

And with good reason. The British classic is among the most beloved cars in the canon of world cars.

Michelotti left a massive mark adding to the immeasurable and influential depth of contributions by Italian designers on the auto industry.

Canadian Urban Museum Of Italian Cars

Let's keep this car theme going.

Nice collection of Italian cars held by an Italo-Canadian.

The Timeless Beauty Of Alfa Romeo

A pair of lovely Alfa Romeo cars.

It's a shame a company with such a stunning legacy can't get their sales up in North America.

Part 2 Of Lamborghini Engine Rebuild

She's a beaut I tell ya.

I always get a kick watching English mechanics and engineers work on Italian cars and openly speak about the thought process as they try and figure out the logic of it all.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Great Italian Ship Engines

Found this website about all things Italy. I was just looking around for themes on motors and engines and stumbled on an article discussing Grandi Motori Trieste building the biggest diesel engine for ships in the world.

A kindred spirit!

The search continues for Italian engineering and scientific prowess.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Olive Mills Help Produce Great Olive Oil

During my quest researching olive mills from Italy, I recently read a story about a Canadian couple producing the first olive oil from Canada. It's a pretty neat story and will be sure to seek it out and give it a taste.

In the meantime, I noticed they purchased an Italian olive mill Pieralisi (and Italian olive varieties) to launch their business. Pieralisi was founded in 1888 and has been an innovator in the industry ever since.

This is the part of the equation never mentioned whenever the discussion of olive oils productions comes up. While Italy is part of several olive producing nations like Spain (the biggest producer), Greece and Turkey, Italy is a leader on the technology and innovation side which translates into world class olive oil. The equipment and technique that goes with it matters.

Another producer is Oliomio.

Image: Pieralisi olive mills.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Links And Articles Of Interest

Just some random links.

Another Giro has come and gone. While not one of the most exciting Giros of recent times, it was nonetheless a intriguing one for cycling fans. It's a shame no major networks covered this majestic race - arguably now the best of the Grand Tours. Richard Carapaz of Ecuador was the general classification winner bringing that country its first ever Grand Tour victory. The Sicilian Vincenzo Nibali and Primoz Roglic of Slovenia made the podium.

Moving on.

Italy remains a key leather shoe exporting nation.

It also is the biggest textile manufacturer in Europe and 5th largest in the world.

Biella. Wool capital of the world. A couple of articles here and here.

The interesting history of weaving in Venice.

What isn't interesting about Venice?

Monday, May 27, 2019

Giro Of Beautiful Bicycles

Let's continue celebrating Italian works of bicycle art.

Tommasini is out of Grosseto. A town where we happen to have a friend.

We may just have to visit one of these days.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Climbing The Nivolet With Legendary Bikes

Look ma! First post of May!

The Giro D'Italia is criminally under appreciated and reported in the largely Anglicized North American sports landscape. It's a shame because it's one of the most eclectic, unpredictable and iconic of all races in a country where cycling tradition and history is almost unrivalled. From the passion to the scenic beauty to the food....the Giro is a race that deserves to be televised and respected.

Small rant. I was listening to Bob McKenzie speak on NHL Network. He was talking about video replay and how the NHL could mimic the innovative VAR seen 'in English and European football' as he put it.

Like the network he works for - TSN - it was a typically Anglo-centric comment (and to be fair, a harmless one. I don't mean to make it bigger than it is. Take it as a light annoyance observational rant) since the network has the rights to English premier football. Which is fine but it's no excuse to almost give the impression they're unaware of other leagues.

I know Serie A is in a lull right now but I still think it's the toughest league in the world to play bar none. It still presents a different interoperation of soccer worth watching. It may not be as 'dazzling' (which really is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I like the cadence and tactical cerebral aspect of Italian soccer in general) as the glitzy English league (strong and iconic as it is), but it's still high quality soccer with top notch officiating.

Which rounds me up to my point. Serie A and Bundesliga were the first leagues to use VAR. Not England. Italian and German VAR officials were present at the last World Cup as the system is driven by their two interpretations of how to use it.

Serie A innovated with it because England did. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Italian Guns Of World War I

Just one post thus far in 2019.

I really need to step up my game.

I just finished reading a 715 page book on World War I and decided to post a couple of Italian pistols.

First up, the Bodeo 1889 Model.

And the 'over-engineered' Glisenti 1910.

Hopefully I'll be more active moving forward.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Italian And North African Architectural Talents Merge And Converge

My first post of 2019. I know, I really need to be more involved and energetic. But procrastination is a problem. It's not like I get paid for any of this. Heck, Google even kicked me off some payment thing they had. Plus all these regulatory notices I keep getting are annoying. The EU are a regulatory entity wrapped up in another layer of regulations then smothered by more excessive regulations.

I love Europe but they're red tape pain in the asses.

Whatever. I don't do this for the money. I do it for the love.

Happy new year!

It makes sense Italy is using and lending its resources in North Africa:

"An Italian designing giant and a group of Moroccan business owners are cooperating to bring Morocco’s designing and architecture industry to a higher standing in excellence in the global market.
The project, called Bretone Design Africa (BDA), is the fruit of the collaboration between world-renowned Italian industrial design brand Bretone Italia, Rabat-based city planning giant Marita Group Holding, and Moroccan businessman Moulay Youssef El Alaoui."
Hopefully, I'll be more attentive and active moving forward.