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Luigi Galvani and the Discovery of Bioelectricity

Luigi Galvani and the Discovery of Bioelectricity

On September 9, 1737, Italian physician, physicist and philosopher Luigi Aloisio Galvani was born. He is best known for his discoveries in bioelectricity. In particular, he discovered that the muscles of dead frogs legs twitched when struck by a spark. As a legacy, Galvani’s name survives in the Galvanic cell, Galvani potential, galvanic corrosion, the galvanometer and galvanization. Moreover, his reports also heavily influenced famous author Mary Shelley writing her novel ‘Frankenstein‘.[4] “When…
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Adventure Time with Emilio Salgari

Adventure Time with Emilio Salgari

On August 21, 1862, Italian writer of action adventure swashbucklers and a pioneer of science fiction Emilio Salgari was born. For over a century, his novels were mandatory reading for generations of youth eager for exotic adventures. Many of his most popular novels have been adapted as comics, animated series and feature films. He is considered the father of Italian adventure fiction and Italian pop culture, and the “grandfather” of the Spaghetti…
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Camillo Golgi and the Golgi Apparatus

Camillo Golgi and the Golgi Apparatus

On July 7, 1843, Italian physician, pathologist, scientist, and Nobel laureate Camillo Golgi was born. His key discovery was the use of silver salts to stain samples for microscope slides. Thus new details of cellular structure components were revealed and several phenomena in anatomy and physiology are named for him, including the Golgi apparatus. Camillo Golgi – Early Years Camillo Golgi was born near Brescia in northern Italy. His father was a…
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Paolo Veronese and the Venetian painting of the Late Renaissance

Paolo Veronese and the Venetian painting of the Late Renaissance

On April 19, 1588, Italian Renaissance painter Paolo Veronese passed away. The Venetian painter is best known for extremely large history paintings of religion and mythology. Together with Titian and Tintoretto, Veronese is one of the “great trio that dominated Venetian painting of the cinquecento” and the Late Renaissance in the 16th century. “We painters use the same license as poets and madmen.” – Paolo Veronese, Testimony to the Inquisition in Venice (18…
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Filippo Brunelleschi – the first modern Engineer

Filippo Brunelleschi – the first modern Engineer

On April 15, 1446, Italian Renaissance architect, designer, sculptor, and engineer Filippo Brunelleschi passed away. He is considered to be a founding father of Renaissance architecture and is now recognized to be the first modern engineer. In 1421, Brunelleschi became the first person to receive a patent in the Western world. He is most famous for designing the dome of the Florence Cathedral. Filippo Brunelleschi – Early Years Filippo Brunelleschi was the…
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Raphael and his famous School of Athens

Raphael and his famous School of Athens

On March 28 or April 6, 1483, Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known as Raphael was born.[4] His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, and visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo [5] and Leonardo da Vinci,[2] he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period. Apprenticeship Raphael was born in the small but…
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Sandro Botticelli and the Grace of the Renaissance

Sandro Botticelli and the Grace of the Renaissance

On March 1, 1445, Sandro Botticelli was born, one of the most important Italian painters and draftsmen of the early Renaissance. Botticelli’s posthumous reputation suffered until he was rediscovered by the Pre-Raphaelites in the 19th century, who stimulated a reappraisal of his work. Botticelli’s Birth of Venus is probably one of the most popular renaissance paintings in the world. Sandro Botticelli – Early Life One of the first sources about Botticelli’s life…
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Amerigo Vespucci and the New World

Amerigo Vespucci and the New World

On February 22, 1512, Italian explorer, financier, navigator and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci passed away. He first demonstrated that Brazil and the West Indies did not represent Asia’s eastern outskirts as initially conjectured from Columbus’ voyages, but instead constituted an entirely separate landmass hitherto unknown to Afro-Eurasians. Colloquially referred to as the New World, this second super continent came to be termed “America“, deriving its name from Americus, the Latin version of Vespucci’s…
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Enzo Ferrari – Il Commendatore

Enzo Ferrari – Il Commendatore

On February 18, 1898, Italian motor racing driver and entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari was born. He is best known as the founder of the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team, and subsequently of the Ferrari automobile marque. He was widely known as “il Commendatore” or “il Drake”. Born in Modena Enzo Ferrari was born in Modena, Italy. It is believed that he had his first significant encounter with race cars in 1908…
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Girolamo Savonarola’s Bonfire of Vanities

Girolamo Savonarola’s Bonfire of Vanities

On February 7, 1497, Florentine followers of Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola burned a bonfire of vanities. Supporters of Savonarola collected and publicly burned thousands of objects such as cosmetics, art, and books in Florence, Italy, on the Mardi Gras festival. Other targets included books that were deemed to be immoral, such as works by Boccaccio, and manuscripts of secular songs, as well as artworks, including paintings of Sandro Botticelli. “The Pope may…
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