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.

26 March 2019

26 March

Guccio Gucci – fashion designer


The man whose name inspired the interlocking G logo

The founder of the House of Gucci, Guccio Gucci, was born on this day in 1881 in Florence. In the early 1900s Gucci worked as a lift boy at the Savoy Hotel in London, where he was inspired by the elegance of the wealthy people who stayed there and their smart luggage. On his return to Florence he started making his own line of leather travel bags and accessories and in the 1920s he opened a small leather and equestrian shop in Via della Vigna Nuova. Gucci later added handbags to his line and relocated to a bigger shop. He was fascinated with horses and his handbags featured clasps and fasteners resembling horse bits and stirrups. He gained a reputation for hiring the best craftsmen he could to work on his products. In 1938 he expanded his business to Rome, in 1951 he opened a store in Milan and two years later expanded overseas by opening a store in Manhattan, establishing Gucci as a worldwide brand. Read more...

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Elio de Angelis - racing driver


The 'last gentleman racer' of Formula One

The Formula One motor racing driver Elio de Angelis was born on this day in 1958 in Rome. His record of winning two Grands Prix from 108 career starts in F1 may not look impressive but he was regarded as a talented driver among his peers, holding down a place with Lotus for six consecutive seasons alongside of such talents as Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna, both future world champions. He had his best seasons in 1984 and 1985, which encompassed seven of his nine career podium finishes and in which he finished third and fifth respectively in the drivers' championship standings. Seen as “the last of the gentleman racers”, tragically he was killed in testing the following year, having left Lotus for Brabham in frustration after perceiving that Senna was being given more favourable treatment. Read more…

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Lella Lombardi - racing driver


Only woman to win points in Formula One

Maria Grazia “Lella” Lombardi, the only female driver to finish in a points position in a Formula One world championship motor race, was born on this day in 1941 in Frugarolo, near Alessandria in Piedmont. She finished out of the points in 11 of the 12 world championship rounds which she started between 1974 and 1976 but finished sixth in the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix, a race marred by the tragic deaths of five spectators after the car being driven by the German driver Rolf Stommelen went out of control and somersaulted over a barrier into the crowd. The race was halted four laps later when it became known there had been fatalities. At that moment, Lombardi’s March-Ford was in sixth position, albeit two laps between race leader Jochen Mass. Read more…

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