Noise, Italian Style

October 10, 2008 / Local Interest
Noise. Although we often think of a tranquil Italian countryside when dreaming about Italy, you’re more likely to get tractors and chainsaws that start up at daybreak and continue on all morning, just when you think you’re going to sleep in.

If you’re not convinced that Italians have invented almost every contraption that causes noise, let’s begin with Leonardo da Vinci and the helicopter. Well at least he designed it;
Then Monteverdi appeared in around 1600 with Italian opera . . . good noise for sure, but still noisy.

Consider the radio, and consequently TV: Guglielmo Marconi;
Then there’s the internal combustion engine. According to chauvinists, it was invented by Barsanti and Matteucci, even before Otto;

How about the telephone? Meucci before Bell.

In 1946, Piaggio invented the two-wheeled scooter and named it Vespa (Italian for wasp) given the sound it made, “BZZZZZZ!” Two years later, he added a third wheel and named it “Ape” (Italian for bee, also noisy). Then in 1964, Piaggio invented variable centrifugal traction, which made them both even noisier.
And then, well, there’s the noisiest of all … the atomic bomb: Fermi (in collaboration with some others). Do we have your attention?

Evanne Brandon-Diner

by Evanne Brandon-Diner

Chronicler of local village life in Northern Lazio, and property restoration and purchasing consultant.

Leave a Reply