Italian inventions and discoveries

Tuesday 19th September, 2023 - Bruce Sterling

*This must be a fraction of them, but it’s quite interesting nevertheless.


Galleon (origins): historical evidence suggests that this iconic type of ship was pioneered by the early 16th century Venetians and later spread to Iberian Peninsula, where it became widely adopted and further developed.[99]

Gelato: Procopio Cutò is credited with being the inventor of modern gelato.[100] In 1903 Italo Marchioni patended a machine for producing the gelato cone.[101]

(Modern) giro system: a payment transfer from one bank account to another bank account initiated by the payer, not the payee.[102][103] The first occurrences of book money can be traced back in Northern Italy and, in particular, in Venice.[104]

Geothermal power plant, the first one being built in Tuscany (1904) by Piero Ginori Conti.[105][106][107] The first Italian industrial use of geothermal energy dates 1827.[108]

Ghetto, with the institution of the Venetian Ghetto[109] early in 1516.

Gondola, a typical Venetian boat.[110]

Grappling hook: The device was invented by the Romans in approximately 260 BC.[111]

Guildhall: The first guildhalls appeared in Rome.


Herbarium, intended as a collection of plants classified under scientific methods, was first established in Bologna in 1534 by Luca Ghini.[112]

Holocene calendar, a calendar obtained by adding 10000 years to the current Gregorian calendar, first proposed by Cesare Emiliani in 1993.[113][114]

Hydrofoil, a lifting surface that operates in water: Enrico Forlanini developed and patented around 1900 a “ladder” foil system.

Hyper Search: a type of web search engine based on link analysis invented in 1997 by Massimo Marchiori, whose algorithm played an important role in the development of Google page ranking.[115][116]

Induction motor: Galileo Ferraris invented the AC commutator-free three-phase induction motor. He was the first one to demonstrate this invention in 1885; around the same time, Nikola Tesla independently developed a similar invention….