Happy Sesquicentennial, Italy!

So your prime minister pays underage girls for sex, but you have given the word Enrico Fermi, Sophia Loren, Italo Calvino, Federico Fellini, Luigi Pirandello, early algebraic geometry, neorealismo and futurismo. I’ll call it a tie.

(Related memory: one night during STOC 1997 in El Paso, a group of theoreticians that included Daniele Micciancio and myself goes to Juarez, and walks into the one bar that didn’t seem to have prostitutes sitting outside. Daniele and I are talking, and the man sitting next to Daniele stares at us oddly. Finally, he asks what language we are talking in. “Ah, Italy,” he then says, “Paolo Rossi! Edwige Fenech!”)

3 thoughts on “Happy Sesquicentennial, Italy!

  1. … but you have given the word Enrico Fermi, Sophia Loren, Italo Calvino, Federico Fellini, Luigi Pirandello, early algebraic geometry, neorealismo and futurismo.

    Those and Dante Alighieri, Leon Battista Alberti, Niccolò Machiavelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Amerigo Vespucci, and Botticelli. Yes, all of them were from Florence and lived in a pre-1861 “Italy”, but I guess one could call them Italian nonetheless.

  2. Sure, if you look at the Italian Nation, the balance since the 1200s is definitely positive. But even if one looks at the Italian State, the balance of the past 150 years (which includes colonialism in Africa, alliance with the Nazis, Giulio Andreotti, and so on) is not bad.

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