Italy has been one of the leaders in world politics for centuries. With the rise of the Roman Empire, many of the various architectural structures and city planning concepts that we use today originated from Italy. Over the course of 2,500 years, there are bound to be some famous Italians that have helped to shaped the modern world. Here are 5 examples that may surprise you.
Michelangelo is still famous today for his stunning masterpieces of art, but many don’t realize that he was equally famous back in his day. People were so touched by his artwork that he became the first person in history to have his autobiography published before death. That autobiography was so popular that a second autobiography was also published during Michelangelo’;s lifetime. His leadership through creativity has inspired countless artists to pursue their preferred mediums, shaping the modern world in untold ways.
2. Antonio Meucci
The late 1800′s and early 1900′s were a boon for inventions. Modern science was just starting to reach a global level of influence and scientists were beginning to unlock the secrets that we take for granted so often today. One of those inventions, the telephone, is used by billions of people every day. Meucci is actually the inventor of the telephone, even those most people associated this invention with Alexander Graham Bell. Meucci didn’t have the money to file for a patent and he died during the court hearings over his challenges to Bell’s patents, so Bell received the right to keep his patent.
3. Galileo Galilei
Galileo is often called the Father of Modern Science because he had the courage to doubt official teachings at the time. Using his telescope, he studied the skies at night and determined that the world was, in fact, not the center of the universe at all. He was the first to observe sun spots, discovered the four largest moons around Jupiter, and was jailed for his “radical” views on science.
4. Christopher Columbus
Columbus is one of those Italian figures in history that you either admire for his courage in exploration or don’t admire because of his brutality. Working first as a cartographer and then a trader, Columbus is often credited with discovering the New World. He was able to reach Nicaragua and Honduras, but at one point was brought home in chains to face charges that he was being too brutal in his leadership. For his time, however, Columbus sailed along West Africa, went to Iceland, and completed four total treks across the Atlantic.
5. Leonardo da Vinci
Out of the few true geniuses the world has ever seen, Leonardo da Vinci might be the most famous. He always explored, studied, and focused on his creativity during his life. A famous painter and inventor, he loved to explore new concepts. From solar power to helicopters to calculators, da Vinci was a man who may have born in the wrong era. If given the means and opportunity, the scientific advancement potential of this one man may exceed anything the world has ever seen and may never see it again.