CuriosITy

Discover some of the most curious stories of Made in Italy products.
From italian-made extraordinary creations, to the most important and revolutionary ideas of our compatriots.

#17: GIRO D'ITALIA – TRIUMPH STORY

In a nutshell, the Giro d’Italia is one of the most prestigious and historic cycling races in the world. The race established in 1909 covers over 2,000 miles across Italy and takes place over three weeks in May, attracting top global cyclists. It has been held every year since then, except for a few slots during the two world wars.

One of the most iconic symbols of the Giro d’Italia is the maglia rosa – or pink jersey – worn by the race leader since 1931. Why pink, you might ask? Its color was chosen to match the pages of the Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian sports newspaper that founded the race and announced it would “become one of the most coveted and biggest trials in international cycling”. The trophy of the race is as famous as this shirt. Called the trofeo senza fine, or endless trophy, it is passed from winner to winner and is never won outright.

The Giro d’Italia has been won by some of the greatest cyclists in history, including Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali. More recent champions include Vincenzo Nibali, who won the race in 2013 and 2016. Primož Roglič, Slovenian runner, won the latest edition in 2023. 

However, the Giro is not just a sporting event but also a major boost for Italian tourism and the economy. The race passes through some of the most beautiful and iconic regions of Italy—providing an international exposure dually promoting these regions and attracting visitors. 

The race indeed has a significant impact on the local economy, with millions of euros in revenue generated from tourism, food, and other businesses as often accompanied by a series of regional events that showcase the best of Italian cuisine.

The winning recipe is found in its iconic symbols, legendary champions and stunning

scenery, which made the Giro a true Italian institution—which the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation are proud to collaborate with once more in 2024.

#16: COMO SILK – FROM COCOON TO COUTURE

Nestled in the historic city of Como, Italy lies an incredible legacy in the field of textile: the softness of Como silk. Since the 15th century, the picturesque region has been synonymous with the refined material, its artisans perfecting the craft to create fabrics coveted by the world.

The legend tells of its culture tracing back to Ludovico Sforza’s compelling of farmers to grow mulberry trees in the area, the essential food for silkworms and the source of its name.

Meticulously made from the delicate threads of their cocoons, the process of silk manufacturing is a testament to Italian attention to quality and excellence—from the breeding of silkworms to the harvest of the cocoons, and all stages of processing through ancient twisting, weaving, dyeing, and printing machines.

Silk manufacturing in Como involves more than just technique, precision, and skill, but also passion and collaborative effort along the value chain. Recently, Como’s silk sector has been equipped to reduce the environmental impact of its production by experimenting with new eco-compatible solutions, and higher sustainability standards, waving in a more sustainable practice.

#15 ACCORDION OF CASTELFIDARDO: HARMONIOUS CREATIONS

The picturesque town of Castelfidardo hosts a rich tradition of accordion craftsmanship that epitomizes Italian excellence. Renowned worldwide for its superior quality and meticulous attention to detail, the accordions produced in Castelfidardo are a testament to the legacy of Made in Italy craftsmanship. 

Located in the Marche region, Castelfidardo has been a hub of accordion production since the 19th century—rich of the ingenuity of the Italian artisans who have dedicated themselves to this iconic instrument, honing their skills to perfection.

What’s their secret? Such artisans blend time-honored techniques with modern innovation to create instruments that are not just musical tools but works of art. Inheriting the art from generations past, skilled hands meticulously build each accordion very meticulously. 

The accordions are also revered for their exceptional sound quality and unparalleled durability thanks to the finest materials sourced locally in Italy. They resonate with a unique warmth captivating musicians and enthusiasts alike, becoming true ambassadors of Italian culture on the global stage. 

In a world driven by mass production, Castelfidardo has diversified its production of traditional accordions to include electroplating and electronics – for example – to become an industrial center staying ahead of the curve.

#14 SANREMO FESTIVAL: CELEBRATING ITALIAN MUSIC

The Sanremo Festival, also known as the Italian Song Festival, is a famous annual music competition in Italy and lasts a whole week. It has significantly contributed to the promotion of Italian music abroad since its inception in 1951—and has united Italians and spark passionate discussions back at home! 

The festival showcases a wide variety of Italian music, ranging from traditional songs to more contemporary performances. Taking place at the Ariston Theatre in the city of Sanremo in Liguria, it continues to be a launching pad for emerging talent.   

Sanremo has been a platform for many renowned Italian artists and has played a pivotal role in shaping the Italian music industry. Over the years, it has reflected the evolution of Italian society and musical tastes and contributed to making another industry very visible on the international stage… floriculture.

Many flower bouquets are distributed during the competition week, therefore reflecting the city’s strong association with this sector. Sanremo, called the City of Flowers, and the region of Liguria at large are a flourishing hub for the flower industry, with an open-air production of flowers. 

#13 BELLS OF AGNONE, A CHIME MADE IN ITALY

Ever heard of the town of Agnone, in the Molise region of Italy? Renowned for its exquisite craftsmanship in bell making, the town’s tradition dates to ancient times, and the town is home to several bell foundries that have been producing hand-made bells for centuries. 

The bells produced in Agnone are known for their exceptional quality, and they are highly sought after by churches and institutions around the world. Made of bronze, these special bells are of the highest quality and have filled spectacular places. 

The bells are all unique. Their production requires building a brick and cement mold in which the molten bronze is poured—and to extract the bell, the mold must be destroyed, thus making it impossible for two bells to be strictly identical.

In Agnone, a foundry keeps producing hand-made bells using the same techniques that have been passed down through generations since the Middle Ages, using clay, earth, wood, and metal to create bells of exceptional quality and beauty. This unique composition results in a tough, long-lasting material that resists rusting and produces a rich, resonant sound.

The bells produced in Agnone are a true reflection of the country’s long tradition of craftsmanship and artistry.

They stand as evidence of Agnone’s vibrant legacy, skilled craftsmanship, cultural richness, and culinary traditions. Agnone currently stands as one of the 16 city finalists vying for the title of Capital of Culture 2026. The results will be disclosed in March 2024: stay tuned.

#12 PANETTONE: BAKING JOY

Panettone, the iconic Italian bread, is a culinary delight that has become synonymous with the winter holiday season. With its rich history coming straight from Lombardy, this traditional sweet bread has evolved into a symbol of festive indulgence loved by people all around Italy—and the world.

The first official definition of the panettone was found in 1606 in the Milanese-Italian dictionary, as a big bread specially prepared for the Christmas celebration.

The panettone is renowned for its light and fluffy texture, studded with candied fruits, citrus zest, and raisins, creating a delightful mosaic of flavors and textures. The dough, prepared with butter, eggs, and sugar, undergoes a lengthy fermentation process, allowing the flavors to meld and the bread to rise to its characteristic dome shape. Baking panettone is not just a culinary process: it’s a labor of love that requires patience and skill!

Traditionally, panettone is enjoyed during the Christmas season, with families gathering around the table. In a way, each bite is a harmonious blend of sweetness and warmth, transporting one to the heart of Italian tradition!

The art of making panettone has been passed down through generations, with each baker adding their unique touch to the recipe. While the classic version with candied fruits remains popular, modern variations include chocolate chips, dried berries, and even creamy fillings, catering to diverse palates while preserving the essence.

Beyond its incredible taste, the panettone embodies the spirit of togetherness and celebration. It is the joy of sharing, creating a sense of unity among friends and family during a time of celebration. It serves as a reminder of the rich culinary heritage and the timeless tradition that brings people together, making it a cherished symbol of Italian culture and festivities.

#11 LEONARDO DA VINCI

Who doesn’t know Leonardo da Vinci? Famous around the world, he was born in 1452 in Vinci, Italy. He was a visionary whose genius transcends time and geography.

His early life marked the beginnings of an extraordinary journey, eventually leading him to Florence, the epicenter of the Renaissance. There, he honed his skills as an artist under the tutelage of Andrea del Verrocchio, and his insatiable curiosity soon encompassed art, anatomy, engineering, and a multitude of other disciplines.

Leonardo’s genius lay not only in his artistic prowess but also in his innovative spirit. His notebooks, a treasure trove of ideas, sketches, and inventions, revealed a mind that dared to envision the future.

Not only did he conceptualize flying machines, tanks, and hydraulic systems, but he also showcased an incredible fusion between art and science. His anatomical studies, decades ahead of their time, laid the foundation for modern medical understanding. Leonardo’s ability to merge creativity with scientific inquiry was revolutionary!

As a genuine artist, Leonardo da Vinci gifted the world timeless masterpieces. The enigmatic smile of the “Mona Lisa” has intrigued generations, drawing viewers into her captivating gaze. In “The Last Supper,” he immortalized a profound moment, like so many more.

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.”

To this day, Leonardo da Vinci continues to inspire entire generations of craftsmen and craftswomen to explore and create. A legacy that has become a pillar of the Made in Italy craft, compiling the strong dimensions of innovation, art and tradition—and a defining essence of Italian companies exporting all around the world.

His life, marked by curiosity and boundless creativity, reminds us that the pursuit of knowledge knows no bounds, transcending cultures, and inspiring minds across the globe.

#10 CARNIVAL OF VENICE

The Carnival of Venice is an Italian tradition like no other—this ancient celebration has been a symbol of extravagance, opulence, and art for many centuries.

At the time, wearing a mask one could hide your identity, gender, and social class while worn along the city’s canals. Imagine going on one of the most beautiful stages in the world, and playing a different role from your own identity. 

The masks and costumes meticulously crafted by skilled mascareri make us gape in awe—an incredible art Made in Italy. The essence of Venetian craftsmanship is best exemplified in what people adorn around the city’s streets during the Carnival. Tabarro, moretta and gnaga are not only accessories, they are also works of art that capture the essence of Venetian culture.

The Carnival is also a testimony of Italy’s rich culinary heritage—with special sweets devoured by tourists and Venetians alike. The frittelle are the undisputed queens of the show: they became so famous you can now find them all over Italy during the Carnival period.

Thinking of visiting? Choose your mask and be ready to forget all time and place. Every detail, every costume, and every mask is a testament to the unparalleled art of Venice. Every year, the Carnival brings the city to life with its festive spirit. 

#9 TRULLI OF APULIA

In the region of Apulia, Trulli stand as remarkable symbols of ancient architecture and cultural heritage. Nestled in the Valle d’Itria, these unique limestone structures have enticed travelers for centuries, offering an unforgettable glimpse into the region’s history.

They are traditional dry-stone huts with cone-shaped roofs, constructed without mortar. The Trulli’s distinctive design not only holds aesthetic appeal but also serves practical purposes, providing natural insulation to keep interiors cool during summers and warm in winters.

One of the most famous Trulli villages is Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its charming streets are lined with whitewashed houses adorned with mystical symbols and ancient signs, offering a window into the architectural techniques handed down through generations.

Beyond Alberobello, other picturesque towns like Locorotondo, Martina Franca, and Cisternino showcase their clusters of Trulli, each with its own unique flair and historical significance.

Trulli hold cultural significance and offer a newfound appreciation for the wonders of the past, in the boot of Italy.

#8 LIMONCELLO

Limoncello is an Italian liqueur capturing the essence of the sunny Mediterranean. Made from the zest of lemons, it is a popular drink enjoyed both in Italy and around the world.

The preparation of Limoncello starts with a selection of the finest lemons, usually grown along the Amalfi Coast or in Sicily. The zest of these lemons is then steeped in pure alcohol, allowing the oils and flavors to blend. After a period of maceration, the mixture is combined with a simple syrup made from water and sugar. This step adds sweetness and balance to the liqueur. The Limoncello is then filtered and bottled, ready to be savored.

Limoncello is primarily produced in Southern Italy. Here the climate is ideal for growing the fragrant lemons required for its production. The Amalfi Coast, with its picturesque and terraced gardens, is renowned for producing a sublime Limoncello made with IGP, the Amalfi Lemon. Other regions, such as Sicily, also have their own variations and unique recipes.

When visiting Italy, sampling Limoncello is a must. Its vibrant yellow color and tangy flavor evoke the spirit of the country’s sunny landscapes. Whether sipped as a refreshing digestif or used as an ingredient in cocktails and desserts, Limoncello is a typical and impressive taste of Italy.

#7 PALIO DI SIENA

The Palio di Siena is a captivating and centuries-old horse race that takes place twice a year, on July 2nd and August 16th, in the heart of the beautiful city of Siena, Tuscany. Steeped in tradition and passion, this historic event attracts visitors from all over the world.

The origins of the Palio date back to the Middle Ages, when the city was divided into “contrade” (districts). These districts would compete against each other in various challenges, including horse races.

The race itself is a thrilling spectacle. Piazza del Campo, the main square of Siena, is transformed into a track surrounded by temporary stands. Ten of the seventeen contrade participate in each race, represented by skilled jockeys who ride bareback around the treacherous course.

The race lasts just 90 seconds, but the intensity is unparalleled. Victory in the Palio is a matter of immense pride and honor for the winning contrada whose celebrations continue long into the night.

The Palio offers a glimpse into Siena’s vibrant history and unique culture. The Italian sense of community that surrounds the event makes it a truly unforgettable experience for all visitors.

#6 FAENZA CERAMICS

The city of Faenza, located in the heart of the Emilia-Romagna region, has been one of Italy’s most important centers of ceramic heritage. The art of Faenza ceramics, also known as Faience, is a traditional art form originating from the city. For over five centuries, artisans have been using their expertise to create stunning ceramic pieces admired and coveted around the world.

Every piece of Faenza ceramics is entirely made by hand, which means that no two are exactly alike: their intricate designs and vibrant colors make them true works of art. The superior quality of the local clay used in the manufacturing process, when mixed with water and other natural materials, creates a beautiful and durable result that can be molded into a wide variety of shapes and designs.

From pottery moulding to dip glazing, decoration painting and glaze firing, the transformation of raw clay into Faenza ceramics is long and requires a specific savoir-faire. The craftsmen and women who create these pieces take great pride in their work and are committed to preserving the traditions of their craft.

The art of Faenza ceramics has become synonymous with “Made in Italy”, as a testament to the skill and dedication of the local artisans.

#5 GELATO

Gelato is a beloved dessert that has been a part of Italian culture for centuries. Made with high-quality ingredients, gelato is synonymous with the taste of Made in Italy. According to Coldiretti, the gelato industry employs over 75,000 people in ice-cream shops in the country, with a turnover of 2,7 billion euros in 2022.

The word “gelato” comes from the Italian word for “frozen”, reflecting its roots in Italian culinary tradition. But did you know that while it is a generic word for ice-cream in the Italian language, it has come to be used to refer to a specific style of ice cream derived from the Italian artisanal tradition in the English language? Italian gelato contains less fat and air than ice-cream, which makes it dense and rich in flavor.

Gelato-makers, known as “gelatieri”, are highly skilled craftsmen who use the finest ingredients. From fresh fruit to rich chocolate, gelato comes in a wide range of flavors, each one a testament to the artistry and creativity of the gelatieri.

In addition to its delicious taste, gelato reflects the country’s passion for excellence. When you taste a scoop of authentic Italian gelato, you’re not just experiencing a dessert: you are experiencing a piece of Italian culture and history. In 2022, the art of the
Italian Gelato Maker (“gelatiere artigianale di tradizione italiana”) kickstarted the candidacy process to be recognized as UNESCO World Heritage.

#4 WINE

Italian wine is widely celebrated for its quality and diversity, making Italy the world’s largest wine-producing country: Italy has a rich history of winemaking, dating back over 4,000 years.

Italian wine is as diverse as the country’s landscape, with each region boasting its own unique terroir and grape varieties. It ranges from crisp and refreshing whites to full-bodied reds and sweet dessert wines.

Italy’s wine production is highly regulated to ensure quality and authenticity: it is the case of the IGP Wines (Protected Geographical Indication) and DOP Wines (Protected Designation of Origin). The latter includes the famous DOC Wines (Controlled Designation of Origin) and DOCG Wines (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin).

Italian winemakers use traditional methods passed down through generations, combined with modern technology, to produce wines of exceptional quality that reflect their regional identity. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or drink a glass from time to time, Italian wine is a must-try for anyone who appreciates the taste of Italian excellence.

#3 DANTE ALIGHIERI

Dante Alighieri is widely considered one of the greatest poets in history and a towering figure in Italian literature. Born in Florence in 1265, Dante’s impact on Italy and the world is immeasurable.

Italian poetry would not be whole without his works. His masterpiece, “The Divine Comedy,” is a poetic epic that describes Dante’s journey through hell, purgatory, and paradise. This monumental work is a testament to the human experience. Soon called the ’Sommo Poeta’ (or ’Supreme Poet), Dante revolutionized Italian poetry and became an Italian symbol abroad.


Dante helped to establish the Tuscan dialect as the standard Italian language, which is still in use today. His writings and his vision of a unified Italy continue to inspire thinkers and scholars today.

#2 THE VIOLIN

The violin is one of the most iconic and beloved musical instruments in the world. It has a rich history that spans several centuries, and its development can be traced back to the early 16th century, right in Italy.

The earliest known violins, in fact, were made by Andrea Amati in the city of Cremona, in the Italian region of Lombardy, in the mid-16th century.
The first four-stringed violin by Amati was dated 1555 and the oldest surviving of his instruments is from around 1560, but between 1542 and 1546 he also made several three-stringed violins.

Since then, his descendants continued to refine and improve the design of the instrument.
As the so-called “Cremonese school of violin making”, which included famous makers such as Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri.

Violins are one of the most known, admired and precious instruments of the world and due its origins to our country. Italian violins are spread and coveted all over the world, as living works of art that embody centuries of tradition, craftsmanship, and passion, and their impact on music and culture is immeasurable.

#1 THE MURANO GLASS

Murano glassworks is a world-renowned art form that has been produced on the small island of Murano, just off the coast of Venice.
Murano glass is known for its unique beauty and exquisite craftsmanship, and has become a symbol of luxury and style. Over the centuries, this art form has evolved into a highly skilled craft, with its own unique techniques and styles.

As a testament to the significance and value of this glass art, Murano has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy. Visitors to Murano can explore the Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro) in the Palazzo Giustinian, where they can learn about the history of glassmaking and view glass samples ranging from the ancient Egyptian era to the present day.

The art of Murano glass is Italy’s intangible cultural heritage and is appreciated and exported all over the world, showcasing the masterful artistry of its craftsmen and their dedication to the preservation of this unique and cherished art form.