List of Italian inventions

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Italy has been the source of many significant inventions. The following inventions and discoveries were made by people that lived in the geographical region of Italy or were made by Italians.

An alphabetical list of Italian inventions[edit]












  • Knockout mice, genetically engineered mice which are used to study the function of genes, developed by Italian-born US Scientist Mario Capecchi in 1989. Prof Capecchi was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Medicine for this innovation.[77]





  • Ocarina a musical instrument invented by Giuseppe Donati
  • Opera, the earliest opera composition was Dafne written around 1597 by Jacopo Peri[86]
  • Opera House, the first public opera house was the "Teatro San Cassiano" opened in Venice in 1637 and survived until 1800.[87]
  • Oxygen rebreather, a design for an ARO apparatus which was practical and reliable was developed in Italy by Dario Gonzatti-Emilio Cressi—Duilio Marcante in the 1930s. Emilio Cressi became the founder of the Italian company Cressi-Sub.[88]





  • Science academy The first scientific society was the Academia Secretorum Naturae founded in Naples in 1560 by the polymath Giambattista della Porta[7]
  • Scissors, pivoted version invented by Romans around 100 AD
  • Scuderi engine an engine invented by Italian-American engineer Carmelo Scuderi [101]
  • Shopping Center The earliest example of public shopping mall was the Trajan's Market in Ancient Rome built around 100-110 AD by Apollodorus of Damascus.
  • Spring powered cart A self-propelled mechanical cart, part of a larger robot, designed by Leonardo da Vinci in the 1480s[102]
  • Stem cells as vectors for Gene Therapy: In 1992 Doctor Claudio Bordignon working at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy performed the first procedure of gene therapy using hematopoietic stem cells as vectors to deliver genes intended to correct hereditary diseases[103]
  • Stem cell transplant to treat Systemic Lupus Erythematosus was first attempted by Alberto Marmont De Haut Champs in 1996.[104]
  • Star fort It was first seen in the mid-15th century in Italy
  • Stiletto, a type of narrow dagger which appeared in the Middle Ages




  • Vega (rocket) a rocket developed chiefly in Italy (65%) with the collaboration of other European Nations (Spain, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden). First flight took place in 2012.The last stage of the rocket has the ability to use the propulsion system to adjust the orbit.
  • Vermouth first marketed by Antonio Benedetto Carpano in 1786.[113][114][115]
  • Vibram rubber soles, invented in 1937 by Vitale Bramani
  • Vibram FiveFingers a type of shoe invented in 1999 by Robert Fliri.
  • Violin, four stringed, the name of the inventor is unknown, but the instrument appeared in renaissance Italy.
  • Viterbi algorithm created by Andrew James Viterbi (Italian-American researcher) in 1967 and now used in cell phones
  • VVA-14 Wing-In-Ground/Aircraft Hybrid designed by Roberto Orso Di Bartini in 1972


  • Waterbed invented by Sanctorius in the early 1600s
  • Watermark This medieval innovation was first introduced in Fabriano, Italy, in 1282.
  • Water Walking Skis were first designed by Leonardo da Vinci[116]
  • Webmail invented by Luca Manunza in 1994-95
  • Welfare The earliest form of welfare was the lex frumentaria instituted by the tribune Gaius Gracchus dating back to 122 B.C., a law that ordered Rome’s government to supply its citizens with allotments of cheaply priced grain.
  • Wheel lock invented by Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th century
  • Wind tunnel designed by Gaetano Lanza in 1909.
  • Wine dispenser invented in 2009 and now used in many restaurants around the world
  • Worm drive (Universal screw) invented by Leonardo da Vinci in the 1480s


Scientific discoveries and advances in medicine[edit]

Other Significant Italian Innovations[edit]

  • Comau an Italian company who is a leader in industrial automation and developed many innovations in this field. In particular the Smart5 line of industrial robots. Today all major automotive manufacturers use Comau machines.
  • Latin alphabet derived from the Greek alphabets became the foundation of many languages worldwide.
  • Runic alphabet: the runic alphabet was based on Old Italic script.
  • Stock Exchange: the first such institution was started in Bruges by members of the Della Borsa family (Van der Bourse in Flemish). The Della Borsas were venetian merchants.

Italian contributions to music[edit]

  • Disco music was pioneered by Italian Composer Giorgio Moroder in 1972
  • Italo dance a style of music popular in the 1970-1980s
  • Italo disco a style of music popular in the 1980s
  • Italo house a style of music popular in the late 1980s
  • Orchestra first created by Giovanni Gabrielli in the 1500s
  • Opera first opera written by Claudio Monteverdi and Jacopo Peri in 1597
  • Symphony this concept is the creation of Giovanni Battista Sammartini in 1734

External links[edit]


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