Monday, December 3, 2018


This essay is dedicated to a friend -Massimo Canepari- who was born in Venezuela from an Italian father but who initially has had a low judgment of Italy and the Italians, as sometimes happens in the Italian communities (mainly) in the Americas. Sadly some descendants of Italian emigrants are "brainwashed" by the local establishment in order to get them assimilated since their early schoolyears and are often forced to reject their roots in order to be fully accepted into their local society. In the case of Massimo this rejection -or bad judgment- was fully reversed thanks to his knowledge and study, that allowed him to become an italophile in his country Venezuela. His turning point: his visit to Italy when he personally admired the wonderful "Pieta" of Michelangelo in Rome ("seeing the perfection of this masterpiece -he said to me- I understood why the art of Italy is unique in the word")

The Spanish steps in Rome are worldwide appreciated by millions of italophiles in the world

Indeed we all know that all the American countries -that are independent- have an Italian community that has reached top socio-economical positions and all of these country have had at least one president with Italian roots (from Argentina and Brasil to the little Panama and Costa Rica), but there it is one exception: the United States. The reason: in the USA the Italians are poorly judged with an ethnic classification based on the triangle "Mafia/crime" - "pizza/food" - "Nero cruelty/dishonesty". In other words: Italians are good for eating matters, but are criminally related to the Sicilian Mafia (from Sicily comes nearly 1/5 of all the Italoamericans!) and are often dishonest ("cheating" with deceptions & lies at work and a bit cruel like emperor Nero). Of course many academics argue that this is a prejudice created by the "Wasp" (white-anglo-saxon-protestants), who rule the US society, in order to maintain their centuries old leadership: the reader must remember -for example- that some US black leaders argue that Obama has been elected president because he is a "mulatto" whose mother was a typical Wasp, and that they also argue that if he would have been a real black he would have never been elected!

Of course we have to remember that Italy has forty-seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2016, more than any other country in the world. According to UNESCO, the cultural and educational agency for the United Nations, over 60 percent of the entire world’s art treasures are found in Italy, which draws tourists, scholars, artists and art historians from everywhere in the world.

But what most of us often forget is that Italy is the country with most "super genius" in the world History: from Augustus, Caesar, Archimedes to Leonardo, Galileo and Marconi, to name a few, no other country has such amount of important personalities. During Fascism the nationalists even pinpointed that Napoleon was not French, but Italian, because born in Corsica (an island that has always been Italian until one year before his birth)! Of course this was an exaggeration, but why all this concentration? One explanation -that I want to study further in the next years- seems to be related to the fact that Italy is the place in Europe with most lighting strikes. Let me explain better: the "metallic mountains" (Colline Metallifere) of Tuscany have produced the best iron in Antiquity for the famous roman "gladius" (an armament that literally allowed the creation of the Roman empire by the legionaries), but are also responsible for the strongest lighting thunderstorms in the western world. Actually we know that some of the best world genius were born during these thunderstorms (like Nicola Tesla, see my, that seems to have "charged" the brain neurons of the newborns. Of course, this is a matter that is being studied by academics only in the last decades and needs a lot of further research & confirmations.....but I think it is worth to remember this fact as a possible explanation (by the way, the second country in Europe with excessive lightings is Scotland, and we all know that many clever inventors have been born there).

Consequently here I add some excerpts taken from an essay in Wikipedia, named "Italophilia", that I have partially written years ago:


Italophilia is the admiration, general appreciation or love of Italy, its culture, society, arts and people. It is often related to the emulation of Italy's ideals and civilization.

Italophilia is very strong -for example- in the USA, mainly between the Italian communities, as was seen even in New York during the 2006 WorldCup celebrations of the Italian soccer team victory (see The term is used in two basic contexts: in international politics and in cultural context. "Italophilia", "Italophile", and "Italophilic" are the terms used to denote pro-Italian sentiments, usually in politics and literature.

Historically, a huge italophilia started to develop in Europe during the centuries of the Italian Renaissance.

William Shakespeare is a famous example of an Italophile of the 16th century

Actually one of the main reasons of Italophilia in the world is that Italy is home to more World Heritage Sites than any other nation in the world. Another reason is the worlwide appreciation for Italian culinary and foods. For example, the Pizza -created in Napoli- is one of the most appreciated foods in nearly all the countries of the modern world, from Europe to the Americas and Australia.

Italy is also a big wine producer. In 2005 it made over 5 million tonnes, and many italian wines are very famous in the world, like the "Chianti".

Indeed in the American countries with a huge Italian emigration (since the early XIX century, nearly 2/3 of the more than 28 millions of Italian emigrants moved there!), there it is a widespread italophilia: Argentina, Brasil, Uruguay, Canada and the USA have millions of Italian descendants who promote in their society the love and appreciation for Italy.

Actually Giorgio Silvestri (director of the "Assemblea legislativa della Liguria") has calculated that there are more than 250 million italophiles in the world.

Italophilia in History

The extent to which Italic civilization has shaped Western civilization and, by extension, the civilization of the whole world, is widely recognized and acknowledged. Appreciation of the legacy of Italic ideals, civilization and culture has existed for many centuries, into the present day.

Some of the most famous "italophiles" in History are William Shakespeare, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Francis I, Catherine the Great, Goethe, John Ruskin and Lord Byron. In the last two centuries even Queen Victoria, Napoleon, Simon Bolivar, Francisco Franco, Juan Perón and other politicians showed some form of italophilia.

Roman era

Statue of Augustus, first Roman emperor and first creator of "Italia" as political entity

Rome was the center of an empire that stretched across a large segment of the then-known world, and later became the center of the Christian faith.

Roman civilization was transplanted to most parts of Europe, the Mediterranean basin and the Near East in the form of law, architecture, engineering, roads, aqueducts, public baths, sanitation, trade, literature, art, libraries, hospitals and agriculture.

It was possible for the people in the provinces to attain Roman citizenship, rise to the Senate, and even to become Roman emperor. The Roman provinces, having received much of the benefits of Roman civilization, became Romanized to a large degree.

Winston Churchill states -in his famous "History of the English Speaking Peoples"- that :
For nearly 300 years Britain, reconciled to the Roman system, enjoyed in many respects the happiest, most comfortable, and most enlightened times its inhabitants have ever had.

The Christian religion was viewed in Rome as contrary to prevailing religious and political beliefs and, consequently, was suppressed. Many Christians in Rome and elsewhere were persecuted. After the conversion of the Emperor Constantine to Christianity in 312 AD, Christianity flourished and became an integral part of Roman life. Roman Catholicism, in a form easily recognizable today, emerged and took root in Rome and much of the Roman Empire.

The Church adopted many religious customs and forms common in pre-Christian Rome, such as the stole and other vestments, the use of incense and holy water in purifications, burning candles before the altar, the veneration of saints, the architecture of the basilica, the law of Rome as a basis for canon law, the title Pontifex Maximus for the Pope, and Latin as the language of Catholic ritual.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, its vast governmental network provided a structure for the Church’s ecclesiastic rule. The bishops, rather than the Roman prefects became the source of order and the seat of power. In many important ways, the Roman Catholic Church became the successor of the Roman Empire. The Church and its Pope were major stabilizing influences in Europe in the centuries that followed. In the words of historian Will Durant (in his "Caesar and Christ, The Story of Civilization"):
Rome died in giving birth to the Church; the Church matured by inheriting and accepting the responsibilities of Rome

The cultural patrimony of Roman literature, architecture and sculpture inspired many of the achievements of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Italy and the rest of Europe. Works by poets, authors and historians, such as Ovid, Horace, Catullus, Cicero, Virgil, Livy and Tacitus had a far reaching impact on the Western world.

The legacy of Rome is clearly evident in the Western world, and elsewhere, in numerous ways, such as:
*The Roman alphabet
*Roman numerals
*Names of the planets
*Names of the months
*Names of the days of the week (in Romance-language countries)
*Julian Calendar (used for almost 1500 years)
*Systems of government and law based on Roman models
*Latin-derived languages in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Romania
*Languages heavily influenced by Latin, such as English (approximately 55% Latin based)
*The Roman arch in architecture
*Techniques used in building roads, bridges, aqueducts, viaducts, etc.
*Use of concrete as a building material
*The stadium & the acqueduct
*Wine-making cultures in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Southern Germany
*Creation of political-administrative entities ( "Italia", "Hispania", "Britannia", etc…)

Medieval period

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the civilization of Italy continued to be a cultural force that helped preserve Greco-Roman civilization and ideals. Latin, the indigenous language of the Italic people, became the universal language of the Catholic Church and, generally, of culture and learning in Europe.

Western Monasticism, as first practiced by the followers of Saint Benedict, born in Nursia in 480 AD, spread from Italy to all parts of Europe. The Benedictine monks were a very important factor in preserving Greco-Roman culture and learning for later centuries. Saint Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni di Bernardone in Assisi in 1181) was a friar who founded the men's Order of Friars Minor and the women’s Order of St. Clare, both of which attracted many followers from all over Europe. He became one of the most venerated religious figures in Catholic Church history.

Statue of Dante at the "Uffizi Gallery", Florence

Saint Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican priest born in Aquino in 1225, was an influential philosopher and theologian. He was one of the greatest minds of the Middle Ages, and his influence on Western thought was immense. He was considered then, as he is now, to be the greatest theologian and philosopher of the Catholic Church. He is best known for his monumental work, the Summa Theologica.

The Gregorian Chant, an outgrowth of Roman plain chant, strongly influenced both liturgical and secular music during the Middle Ages. An Italian monk, Guido of Arezzo, developed the form of musical notation that became the basis of Western music and, subsequently, of music worldwide.

Educated people in Europe were familiar with the works of Dante and Boccaccio, which dominated the literature of the Middle Ages, and with their contemporary Petrarch, who had established the most important lyric poetry tradition in Europe. These works had a great influence on Shakespeare, Chaucer, John Milton, Tennyson and many other English writers of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and later periods. Dante's reputation grew and solidified during the Renaissance and the following Enlightenment Era: by 1865, the 600th anniversary of his birth, he had become established as one of the greatest literary icons of the Western world. Dante's "Inferno" is famous and still (in the English version) read in the contemporary so called "English speaking world" (UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland and of course the USA) to the point that the world 'inferno' is often used in normal conversations.

Students and scholars came from all over Europe to study at institutions of higher learning in Italy. The University of Bologna, the first modern university, was founded in Bologna in 1088. The University of Padua, the second oldest university in Italy, was founded in 1222 as a school of law. The University of Naples Federico II, founded in 1224, was the world's first state-supported university. The Schola Medica Salernitana, founded in the ninth century, was the world's first medical school, and unrivalled in the Middle Ages.

During the Middle Ages, the vitality of Italian merchants was evident throughout Europe, and the resultant trade prompted their invention of financial and business practices which provided the foundation for modern banking, commerce and capitalism. The original banks were "merchant banks" that Italian grain merchants first invented in the Middle Ages. Merchants and bankers grew in stature based on the strength of the Lombard plains cereal crops, and capitalism evolved based on these banks. The same word "capital" was created by Italians and is made of the latin words "caput" (meaning 'head/center') and Italia: "cap ital" - meaning the center of a nation and/or the center of economic power! Many words in banking are from the Italian language: for example, the word 'bankrupt' is a corruption of the Italian 'banca rotta', or broken bench, which is what happened when someone lost his traders' deposits; and the word 'cash' is from the Italian "cassa" (meaning "box"), the word 'money' is from Italian "moneta" (meaning "valuables"), the word 'management' is from archaic Italian ''maneggiamento" (meaning "handlement"), etc..etc...

Indeed, banking (from the Italian word 'banco' for "bench") can be traced to medieval and early Renaissance Italy, to the rich cities in the north such as Florence, Milan, Venice and Genoa. The Bardi and Peruzzi families dominated banking in 14th century Florence, establishing branches in many other parts of Europe. Perhaps the most famous Italian bank was the Medici bank, established by Giovanni Medici in 1397. The development of banking spread from northern Italy through Europe during the early Renaissance. In 1407, the Bank of Saint George, the first state-bank of deposit, was founded in Genoa and was to dominate business in the Mediterranean: it was this bank that initially financed most of the creation of the Spanish empire in the newly discovered Americas (read

1994 Italian 750-lira postage stamp commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Luca Pacioli's Summa publication on accounting & bookkeeping

Indeed Luca Pacioli -a friar mathematician born in Tuscany- is referred to as the "Father of Accounting and Bookkeeping" in Europe. He was the first person to publish a work on the double-entry system of book-keeping on the continent. Pacioli dramatically affected the practice of accounting by describing the double-entry accounting method used in parts of Italy in his masterpiece "Summa de arithmetica". This revolutionized how businesses oversaw their operations, enabling improved efficiency and profitability. His Summa's section on accounting was used internationally as an accounting textbook up to the mid-16th century. The essentials of double-entry accounting have for the most part remain unchanged for over 500 years. Historian Smith wrote that "Accounting practitioners in public accounting, industry, and not-for-profit organizations, as well as investors, lending institutions, business firms, and all other users for financial information are indebted to Luca Pacioli for his monumental role in the development of accounting".

The Renaissance

The Italian Renaissance was to a large extent an expression of Italian "Humanism", and led to one of the most productive and significant periods in human history in the arts, literature, medicine and science.

Giotto, born in 1267, was recognized as the first great artistic genius of the Italian Renaissance. His ability to portray human emotions distinguished him from the artists of the Middle Ages, and he established a style of painting that would be widely emulated in Italy and, later, elsewhere in Europe. Italian Renaissance painters and sculptors, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti, and scores of others of the first rank, were greatly admired and acclaimed, and had a widespread influence on artistic concepts and esthetic standards throughout Europe.

Leonardo, born in 1452 in Vinci, was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. His genius, perhaps more than that of any of his contemporaries, epitomized the creative energy of the Renaissance. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time, and his Mona Lisa is regarded by many to be the most famous painting in the world, and probably the most valuable. His anatomical drawings have never been surpassed in detail and accuracy, and are still used today. Some mechanisms he invented are used in present-day robotic systems.

Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica

Michelangelo was born in Florence in 1475 and, like Leonardo, was a true Renaissance man. He was a sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. He was considered the greatest living artist in his lifetime and, since then, one of the greatest artists of all time. His two best-known sculptures, the Pietà and David, are famous throughout the world. Michelangelo also created two of the most famous and influential frescoes in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis covering the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Chapel.

Italian singers, composers, dancers and actors had a great impact on music and the performing arts. Palestrina, Monteverdi and Frescobaldi were responsible for musical innovations that were seminal in the development of Western music. Italian Commedia dell'arte was an art form that had a great influence in the performing arts, not only in Italy but in many other parts of Europe as well.

The flourishing of arts in England during the Hanover dynasty attracted many Italian artists and musicians to the country. William Shakespeare is said to have exhibited Italophilia in his many works with an Italian setting, such as Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice. Spenser was greatly influenced by Italian epic poems.

Francis I, king of France, initiated the French Renaissance by attracting many Italian artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, to his court. French theatre of the 17th century was rooted in the theatre of 16th-century Italy. Poland was strongly influenced by Italian artisans, painters, sculptors and architects, such as the sculptor, Giammaria Mosca, whose many commissions included the tomb of the king of Poland.

The Spanish writer, Cervantes, was greatly influenced by Italian literature, which is readily discernible in his own works. Spanish theatre of the 17th century was strongly influenced by Italian models.

Italy was a center of commerce and Italian merchants and navigators, such as the Venetian Marco Polo, and the "Italian maritime republics" moved all around the known world. The Genoese explorer Cristoforo Colombo (Columbus) discovered America in 1492, changing world history forever. Another Italian navigator, Amerigo Vespucci, was the source of the name given to the New World. They were followed by other New World navigators from the Italian peninsula, notably the Neapolitans Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) and Sebastiano Caboto, and the Florentine Giovanni da Verrazzano.

It is noteworthy to pinpoint that three countries in the Americas have their names related to Italy: Colombia (from Columbus), Argentina (from argento, as is called silver in Italian) and Venezuela (from Venezia, as is called Venice in Italy)

Age of Enlightenment

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Italy was an integral part of the European Grand Tour, a period in which learned and wealthy foreign, usually British, German or American, aristocrats visited the country due to its artistic, cultural and archaeological richness. Examples included Goethe, Keats, Lord Byron and Shelley. As a matter of fact, most nobles and royals at the time visited Italy as a part of their education. Keats said that the country was a "paradise of exiles".

In the same centuries, the development of Italian music created many italophiles in western Europe. Indeed Italian innovation in musical scales, harmony, notation, and theatre enabled the development of Opera in the late 16th century, and much of modern European classical music, such as the Symphony and Concerto.

The most renowned figure of late 18th century opera was the italophile Mozart, who began with "opera seria" but is most famous for his Italian comic operas, especially The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte, as well as The Magic Flute, a landmark in the German tradition.

The Victorian era in Great Britain saw Italophilic tendencies. Britain supported its own version of the imperial Pax Romana ("Roman Peace"), called Pax Britannica. John Ruskin was a Victorian Italophile who respected & appreciated the concepts of morality held in Italy.

Germany under Chancellor Otto von Bismarck copied Pax Britannica and Pax Romana and sought to create Pax Germanica in Europe.

Beginning in the 16th century, most of the Italian states came under the political control of more powerful European monarchies; however, Italy continued to be a source of creative energy in art, science, music and medicine. Enlightenment thinkers, like Renaissance thinkers, were interested in pre-Christian Greek and Roman thought.

Galileo Galilei, the founder of modern science

Galileo, born in 1564 in Pisa, was the most famous scientist of his age, and played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. He is often referred to as the “Father of Modern Science.” His achievements include a greatly improved telescope, which he employed in making astronomical observations supporting the heliocentric theory of Copernicus; and also the experiments he carried out leading to his law of falling bodies, which was of key importance in Newton’s synthesis of his own famous three laws of motion.

Bonaventura Cavalieri, a Jesuit priest and mathematician, born in 1598, is known for his work on indivisibles, a precursor of infinitesimal calculus, and for Cavalieri's principle in geometry, which partially anticipated integral calculus.

Italians such as Fallopio, Eustachi, Malpighi, Morgagni and Valsalva were important pioneers of modern anatomy at the University of Bologna and University of Padua, which drew students from all over Europe. Padua's famous anatomical theatre was renowned in Europe at the time, and the great English medical scientist William Harvey received his education there.

Cesare Beccaria, a philosopher, jurist and marquis wrote "On Crimes and Punishments" (1754), dealing with the abolition of torture and capital punishment, which had a great impact throughout Europe and in the United States. It strongly influenced intellectuals and politicians in the age of enlightenment, and led to a revolution and reform of judiciary systems to the prevailing modern concept. In 1786, Grand Duchy of Tuscany was the first to abolish capital punishment.

Giordano Bruno had a great influence on 17th-century scientific and philosophical thought and, ever since, his ideals have been absorbed by many philosophers. Bruno's freedom of thought inspired European liberal movements of the 19th century. The significance of Bruno’s work lies in his cosmological theories, which anticipated some fundamental aspects of the modern concept of the universe; his ethical ideas, in contrast with religious ascetical ethics, which appealed to modern humanistic activism; and his ideals of religious and philosophical tolerance.

Giambattista Vico was a political philosopher, rhetorician, historian, and jurist, who is recognized as one of the great Enlightenment thinkers. He criticized the expansion and development of modern rationalism and was an apologist of classical antiquity. His major work, Scienza Nuova, published in 1725, has been highly influential in the philosophy of history, into the 20th-century.

Opera originated in Italy at the end of the 16th century (with the opera "Dafne", which was composed by Jacopo Peri, and produced in Florence in 1598), and soon spread to the rest of Europe. Italian opera was adapted by French, German and Russian composers, who developed their own national schools of opera.

Italian instrumental music was studied and emulated all over Europe. The sonata, concerto, sinfonia, oratorio and other musical forms all originated in Italy. Italian terminology defining the tempo and mood of a musical passage was universally adopted in Western music. The music of Italian composers, such as Corelli, Scarlatti, and Vivaldi, was studied or transcribed by many other composers of the day, most notably Bach. In addition, many composers, such as Handel, Gluck and Mozart studied or worked in Italy, and subsequently became famous for their instrumental music and operas.

The Fortepiano, the fore-runner of the modern Piano, was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence around 1725, and soon replaced the harpsichord as a solo and ensemble keyboard instrument. The family of stringed instruments, consisting of the violin, viola, cello and contrabass evolved in Italy in the mid 16th century. Antonio Stradivari, Andrea Guarneri, Nicolo Amati and other master instrument makers crafted stringed instruments that were highly prized, widely imitated, but never equaled.

The education of upper-class young man was expected to be completed by a "Grand Tour" of Italy to be exposed to the visible legacies of its classical culture, as well as to its contemporary culture of music, literature, art and architecture. Famous examples included Goethe, Keats, Lord Byron and Shelley. Many of the nobility and royalty of the time visited Italy as a part of their education. Keats said that the country was a "paradise of exiles”. John Ruskin was a Victorian Italophile who respected and appreciated the concepts of morality held in Italy.

Italian universities and medical schools attracted students and scholars from across Europe. Luminaries, such as Copernicus and Harvey, were educated in Italy. The University of Bologna, the first modern university, was a leading center of mathematical studies in the 16th and 17th centuries, and it was there that Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia developed the method of solving cubic equations, an achievement previously considered impossible. Extending Tartaglia’s work, Lodovico Ferrari devised a similar method to solve quartic equations, and both solutions were published by Gerolamo Cardano. The solutions to the cubic and quartic equations used, for the first time, what are now known as complex numbers, although it was another Bologna mathematician, Rafael Bombelli, who first explained what complex numbers are, and how they could be used. Complex numbers have since found practical applications in many fields, including physics, chemistry, biology, economics, electrical engineering, and statistics. Later, Cardano published the first systematic treatment of probability.

The US president Thomas Jefferson was a declared italophile who admired Palladio's architecture and created his own "Monticello" imitating him and the Roman Pantheon. The photo shows the "Jefferson Memorial", that was built in 1938 in Washington (USA) as an evident copy of the Pantheon in the "Eternal City"

At the end of the eighteenth century, Italophilia was not uncommon among the founders of the United States, and some of the creators of the U.S. Constitution, such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, looked to Roman models upon which to base the American systems of government and law. The founding fathers were also interested in Renaissance political thinkers and humanists like Machiavelli, and how Italian republics functioned.

Jefferson was among the most conspicuous of the early American Italophiles. He was especially impressed with Italian architecture, and based the design of his Virginia residence, Monticello, on prints by Palladio, the 16th-century Italian architect. The "Jefferson Memorial" in Washington DC, erected in honor of Jefferson, is a neo-Palladian imitation of the famous "Pantheon" in Rome. The Palladian style of architecture appears elsewhere in the U.S. Capital, and the White House itself was inspired by it. (Congressional Resolution n. 259 of 6 December 2010 recognized Palladio as "Father of American Architecture".)

The influence of Italian culture and artistry during this era is expressed by the academic Barzini:
Italian architects and masons built part of the Kremlin in Moscow, and the Winter Palace in Leningrad. Italian artists embellished the Capital in Washington. They have strewn churches, princely palaces and stately villas all over Catholic Europe, especially in Vienna, Madrid, Prague and Warsaw. Their influence on architecture was felt almost everywhere.They also taught poetry, statesmanship and trade to the English; military art to the Germans; cuisine to the French; acting and ballet to the Russians; and music to everyone.

XX century era

Italy -after the unification of 1861- was able in only half a century to create an "Italian empire", that went from Libya to Somalia/Eritrea/Ethiopia and reached Tientsin in China. The first accomplishment done by the Italians was the abolition of slavery in those territories: even now many natives (like in Somalia) remember with nostalgia the progress experienced by their countries in those years and show some form of italophilia.

Winston Churchill was a pen-pal of Benito Mussolini until the late 1930s, appreciating his Fascism fights against the Communism in western Europe: he showed some form of italophilia when commented positively in the British parliament about the Italian conquest of the last territory in Africa not ruled by Europeans (Ethiopia in 1936). Only when Mussolini fell in the hands of the crazy Hitler's Nazism after 1938, he rejected this friendship.

Additionally we must remember that Adolf Hitler was an admirer of Benito Mussolini and Italian Fascism: during the Fascist era, several leaders in Europe, including Hitler (Germany), Franco (Spain) and Salazar (Portugal), modeled their government and economic system on Italian Fascism. The admiration and imitation of Italian Fascism also became popular in South America and to a lesser extent Asia. The parties and organizations associated with these leaders also adopted the Roman salute. Perón's admiration for Mussolini is well documented. Many scholars categorize "Peronism" in Argentina as a fascist ideology. Carlos Fayt believes that Peronism was just "an Argentine implementation of Italian fascism". Hayes reaches the conclusion that "the Peronist movement produced a form of fascism that was distinctively Latin American".

After WWII, Italy has enjoyed a huge economic development and is currently admired for many reasons. Between the most famous are the Ferrari cars and the Italian design.

Photo of 22 Ferrari used in F1 racecars competences

There are millions of Ferrari fans in the world and many of them are italophiles.

The Italian fashion is admired all around the world: brands like Gucci and Benetton are imitated by many designers from China to Latin America. Indeed, many Italophiles in the world buy from major Italian fashion houses like Armani, Valentino, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo, Trussardi, Versace and Fendi.

Actually italophilia is actively fostered by organizations such as the Order Sons of Italy in America, the National Italian American Foundation, the Dante Alighieri Society and the Italic Institute of America.

Contemporary important Italians, appreciated by the italophiles

After Napoleon times there has been a huge number of Italians who are important worldwide and are admired by the italophiles. In 1861 Italy was united for the first time since the fall of the Roman Empire and became a modern industrialized country, where the tradition of creativity, scientific achievement and excellence in manufacturing continued. Here it is a brief list of the most important Italians of contemporary Italy:

*Guglielmo Marconi, a pioneer in the development of wireless telegraphy and long-distance radio transmissions. He is credited as the inventor of the "radio", and received the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics.

*Enrico Fermi, pioneer of nuclear power, is the creator of the world's first nuclear reactor, the Chicago Pile-1. He has been called the "architect of the nuclear age" and the "architect of the atomic bomb".

*Giuseppe Garibaldi, a central figure in achieving Italian independence, was called the "Hero of Two Worlds" because of his military enterprises to achieve independence for countries in South America as well. Garibaldi was admired by many of the greatest intellectuals of his time, such as Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, and George Sand.

*Maria Montessori, born in 1870, was a physician and educator who became known around the world for the educational method that bears her name, and for her writings on pedagogy. Her methods are in use today in schools throughout the world.

*Toward the end of the 19th century, mathematicians Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro and Tullio Levi-Civita developed tensor calculus, which provided the mathematical framework for Einstein's General Theory of Relativity in the early 20th century.

*Alessandro Volta in 1800 created the first battery. His findings were published by the Royal Society of London in their prestigious journal. The "Volt", the basic unit of electromotive force, was named in his honor. Volta invented the first true electrical battery, known as the voltaic pile. It provided a continuous source of electric current, which greatly benefitted Ampere, Ohm and other electrical experimenters in their development of basic electrical theory.

*Ascanio Sobrero -a doctor and chemist- is remembered as the discovered of nitroglycerine, which lead to Alfred Nobel's invention of dynamite in 1866. Nitroglycerine is also used as a heat medication.

*Pirandello, a Nobel Laureate, was the first European playwright in the early 20th century to radically question the structures of traditional theatre. Since then, film directors and writers such as Fellini, Antonioni, Pasolini, Calvino, Eco and Fo have been recognized around the world. Italian neorealism in films, beginning after the second world war, had a great impact on audiences around the world, and established a new philosophy of filmmaking adopted worldwide.

*The legacy of Italian scientists Majorana (nuclear fusion), Meucci (telephone), and Marconi (radio), whose discoveries and inventions transformed the world, is widely recognized. At the same time that German scientists were making major advancements in physics, beginning with Max Planck, Italian scientists like Fermi's Via Panisperna group in Rome were making important fundamental discoveries in physics as well.

Photo of the first public flight of a jet-engined aircraft in History, done by the Italian "Caproni Campini N.1" on August 27, 1940

*Secondo Campini, an engineer, in 1931 wrote a proposal for the Italian Air Ministry on the value of jet propulsion and in 1932 demonstrated a jet-powered boat in Venice. With support of the Air Ministry, he began work with Italian aircraft manufacturer Caproni to develop a jet plane, the Campini Caproni CC.2, which as a prototype was created in 1938. The first public flight of a jet-engined aircraft was that of his Italian "Caproni Campini N.1" on August 27, 1940. It was briefly regarded as the first successful jet-powered aircraft in History.

*Pier Giorgio Perotto: Italian companies have developed products that are of fundamental importance in contemporary society, such as the Olivetti-developed transistorized mainframe computer systems (Olivetti Elea) and, in 1964, the world's first commercial desktop computer, the Programma 101, invented by Perotto.

*Gucci, Benetton, Armani, Valentino, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo and Versace are fashion creators that are known worldwide. Today, Italy is admired throughout the world for its design, particularly in the areas of fashion and manufactured goods.

*Enzo Ferrari, a worldwide famous engineer, has created the most famous race-cars in the world, the "Ferrari", admired by millions of fans (in many cases italophiles). The "Ferrari" is the most successful team in the history of Formula One racing, contesting every World Championship season since 1950, winning 15 Drivers' Championships and 16 Constructors' Championships until 2015. Ferrari won the 24 Hours of Le Mans 6 years in a row from 1960 to 1965. In automobile design, the brand names Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo and Maserati are known and admired throughout the world. In Britain in the 1960s the emerging mod subculture championed Italian and French design, with mods adopting the "Vespa" GS and the "Lambretta" LI 150 motor scooters as their preferred means of transport as well as wearing Italian-designed clothes and shoes, and had a lasting effect - Britain remains Vespa's largest market outside of Italy. Italian design and manufacturing in furniture, architecture and interior design is appreciated worldwide.

*Renzo Piano, a famous architect, has designed important modern buildings such as Centre Pompidou in Paris and Kansai International Airport in Osaka. Architect and designer Giò Ponti was a pioneer in industrial design, and inspired many other Italian designers who have established the Italian image of design excellence in the world. Designers such as Ettore Sottsass, and his Memphis Group of designers, are famous for creating postmodern furniture, fabrics, ceramics, glass and metal objects; and lighting manufacturer Artemide is famous for lamps which transcend their common use as objects, and are nowadays considered cult manufacturing artworks, collected in Museums of Modern Art.

Finally, it is noteworthy to remember that Italy was the fourth country in the world to build nuclear power plants, starting in 1955 (now decommissioned due to a popular referendum in 1987), and the third, after The United States and The Soviet Union, to launch a scientific earth satellite in the 1964 San Marco programme, using an American Scout missile as the launch vehicle. The "Broglio Space Centre" of Italy, located on a sea platform offshore the Kenya coast is the only example of a spacecraft launch center built on a floating sea platform.