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The mere mention of Italy conjures up images of quaint, cobblestoned streets, gorgeous villas and breathtaking architecture steeped in history from the Age of Enlightenment. This tiny Mediterranean country has given us Giorgio Armani suits and some of the finest luxury sports cars that the automotive world has to offer.

This week, we have the privilege of hosting five directors from our parent company, FAAC, headquartered in Bologna. In honour of their visit, here are six of the best Italian inventions:

One of many expressive art forms to be born from the Renaissance – a period of artistic, spiritual and scientific awakening in Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries – ballet was invented and performed for the first time in Florence.

The espresso machine
Enjoying that cup of Joe this morning? Turns out we have the Italians to thank for that, too! The espresso machine was invented in 1903 by a man called Luigi Bezzera in an effort to speed up the coffee-making process. Luigi, thank you for making mornings bearable! We owe you an eternal debt of gratitude.

The induction motor
The Italians have given us some truly great inventions in the fields of science and technology, and few have been more influential than the induction motor. Invented by Galileo Ferraris in 1885, the induction motor is an AC electric motor that uses electromagnetic induction to generate current which in turn produces torque.

Copyright: kiuikson / 123RF Stock Photo

That’s right, arguably the most popular item of clothing is, in fact, another Italian invention. The very first pair of jeans originated from the City of Genoa. Can you imagine countless cowboys and rockers strutting their stuff in corduroys? We didn’t think so.



It is nearly impossible to imagine a life without batteries. We use them in our mobile phones, laptop computers and various other everyday appliances (including our gate motors!) and enjoy the autonomy provided by history’s most robust and enduring power storage device. The very first electromechanical battery, the voltaic pile, was built by Alessandro Volta (who else?) in 1800.

Copyright: vladru / 123RF Stock Photo

The FAAC bollard

While the bollard itself might not be an Italian invention (the origins of this traffic control device are somewhat obscure, but it seems to have its roots in maritime equipment), FAAC’s contribution is a homage to good old-fashioned engineering excellence and emphasises robustness and durability. The design of FAAC’s bollards bespeaks Italian flair combined with an all-round beefiness that makes them suitable for virtually any traffic control application.
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