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Three Italian inventions that we use everyday

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Throughout history, Italy has been a beacon of enlightenment and creativity—from artists and thinkers such as Da Vinci and Michelangelo that helped forge a renaissance around the world, to contemporary designers and innovators that continue to make a global impact.

So here we pay tribute to just three inventions that came out of Italy that we couldn’t live without.

Espresso

Whilst Italy has a long history with coffee, first importing coffee beans in the 16th century, it wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that it emerged as a global leader in coffee, thanks to the invention of the espresso machine.

Inventor Luigi Bezzera discovered a way to force pressurised water through a handful of coffee powder to produce a short, concentrated drink: the espresso; so called because it could be expressly prepared for each customer and because the water had to be expressed through the coffee.

After his machine was showcased at the 1906 Milan Fair, it was a massive success, proving immensely popular with Italians who then introduced the rest of the world to what is now a daily ritual—and too many—a daily need.

Renowned Italian coffee brands:

Radio

There is no better demonstration of how important the invention of the radio is than right now during a global pandemic, when those in lockdown have tuned into radio stations for news and updates and entertainment broadcasts.

The inventor, Guglielmo Marconi, became interested in the concept of wireless telegraphy in the early part of the 1890s, looking at ways of transmitting telegraph messages without wires.

In 1901, Marconi successfully transmitted the first wireless telegraphy signals across the Atlantic Ocean and was awarded the Nobel prize in physics in 1909.

Listen to Italian Web Radio

Eyeglasses

It is believed that the invention of the first wearable pair of eyeglasses occurred in the 13th century in Italy, most probably by monks in Pisa. However, the identity of the individual (or individuals) was kept secret because they did not want to reveal information about the design.

Despite efforts to keep the designs secret, Friar Alessandro della Spina shared the invention, by designing pairs of glasses that he distributed to those who needed them.

The first eyeglasses had frames made of metal or bone and had lenses made out of two convex-shaped stones or crystals because the ”opticians” of that time didn’t have the capabilities of producing flawless lenses in glass. The “frames” were held together and in place on the face with a handle.

Artisan Italian Glasses

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