At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

16 February 2019

16 February

Achille Castiglioni 


Leading figure in post-war Italian style

The designer Achille Castiglioni, whose innovative ideas for lighting, furniture and items for the home put him at the forefront of Italy’s post-war design boom, was born on this day in 1918 in Milan. Many of his designs, including the Arco floor lamp for which he is most famous, are still in production today, even 17 years after his death. The Arco lamp, which he designed in 1962 in conjunction with his brother, Pier Giacomo, combined a heavy base in Carrara marble, a curved telescopic stainless steel arm and a polished aluminium reflector. Read more...


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Edda Dell’Orso – vocalist


Soprano was wordless voice of Morricone soundtracks

The singer Edda Dell’Orso, best known for the extraordinary range of wordless vocals that have featured in many of composer Ennio Morricone’s brilliant film soundtracks from the 1960s onwards, was born on this day in 1935 in Genoa. Her collaboration with Morricone began when he was contracted in 1964 to provide the musical score for the ‘spaghetti western’ A Fistful of Dollars but was offered only a small budget, which meant his access to a full orchestra was limited. Forced to improvise, he used the human voice as an instrument to create sounds. Read more…

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Giambattista Bodoni - type designer


Celebrity printer whose name lives on in type

Typographer, printer and publisher Giambattista Bodoni was born on this day in 1740 in Saluzzo in the region of Piedmont. At the height of his career he became internationally famous and was complimented by the Pope and paid a pension by Napoleon. Bodoni, whose father and grandfather were both printers, designed a modern typeface that was named after him and is still in use today. Read more…


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Valentino Rossi - motorcycle world champion


Rider from Urbino among his sport's all-time greats

Valentino Rossi, the motorcycle racer whose seven 500cc or MotoGP world titles have established him as one of the sport's all-time greats, was born on this day in 1979 in Urbino. Only his fellow Italian, Giacomo Agostini, the eight-times world champion, has more 500cc or MotoGP titles than Rossi, whose total of 89 race victories in the premier classification is the most by any rider.  Across all engine sizes, he has been a world champion nine times, behind only Agostini (15) and Spain's Ángel Nieto, who specialised in 50cc and 125cc classes.  Read more...

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