What Italy Gave The World

The Mona Lisa.

What would the world be like without Italians? No pizza. No ice cream or gelato. No espresso. No violins or cellos. No Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel or David. No lasagna, tortellini or ravioli. No Renaissance or Humanities. No Galileo. No Carnivale. No Vatican. No Romeo and Juliet or Merchant of Venice. No Dante. No eyeglasses. No Scooters, Ferraris or Fiats. No Marco Polo or Christopher Colombus. No Vivaldi, Verdi, Pavarotti, Bocelli, or Tony Bennett and Dean Martin for that matter! No spumoni. No tirimisu. No foccacia or Chianti. And you can just forget about taking the cannoli.

Italians have given so many amazing gifts to the world! So many of them have been world-shakers: they’ve made numerous life-saving discoveries and inventions, explored uncharted lands, researched and developed scientific and medical breakthroughs, created masterpieces of art, perfected their contributions to the culinary world (giving us such delights as pizza, tirimisu and gelato!), they were the first to implement a form of stock exchange, they contributed to the establishment of and still drive modern-day fields such as fashion and formula 1 car racing, they pioneered musical notation, produced untold scores of literary and musical masterpieces, theorized and honed philosophical and political concepts still used centuries later, boldly engineered structures previously thought impossible to build, inspired the ever-growing specialty coffeehouse industry, and they are still birthing new movements today that are rippling their way around the world and into the future.

Here are a few examples of Italian inventions: alfredo sauce, anemometer, barometer, big mac, carbon paper, eyeglassescologne, (direct current) electric generator, double-entry bookkeeping system (modern accounting), electric battery, electric scooter, electromagnetic seismograph, espresso machine, eyeglasses, flight-ejection system, geothermal electricity, hoisting gear, ice cream and cone, induction motor, internal combustion engine, jacuzzi, liposuction, microprocessor, modern musical notation, Montessori educational method, mozzarella, nitroglycerin, nuclear reactor, opera, parmesan, pesto, piano, pizza, risotto, subway sandwiches, telescope, thermometer, wind tunnel, zamboni…

Leonardo da Vinci:
The iconic polymath himself is often thought to have been the single largest contributor to almost a dozen different specific fields within math, science and the arts. Art, writings and other endeavors completely aside, here are a few of the things Leonard da Vinci is conceptually if not also practically credited for inventing: ball bearing, helicopter (aerial screw), diving suit, armored tank, calculator, double-hulled ship, 33 barreled organ (machine gun), 3 barreled canon, giant crossbow, strut bridge, concentrated solar power, automated bobbin winder, hang glider, self-propelled cart, robotic knight (think 15th century C-3PO), wheel lock…

How easily could you go a week without using, playing, eating, or depending on a single Italian invention? You wouldn’t have batteries for your battery operated gadgets. And no espresso for your latte. Guess you’ll have to find something else to serve for spaghetti night. Go back to using contacts since you wouldn’t be able to wear your glasses. Don’t bother trying to read the sheet music for that song you’ve been working on in choir and definitely no Subway or Port of Subs for lunch!

I think it would be even harder than it sounds and am so grateful I never have to try! Today I praise God for Italians and the many incredible, helpful, beautiful and delicious contributions they have made to our world today!


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