Since the very birth of our great nation on or around 1770-something, Americans have perfected the art of taking one nation’s rich heritage, bringing it to our fertile shores and completely making it our own unique beast.
More specifically, Americans have an incredibly storied history of turning great Italian inventions into rich, American traditions. For instance, the new Abarth from Fiat, which takes a rich Italian racing tradition and adds an automatic transmission. This way, we don’t have to learn something new, like driving stick, and can instead focus on binge-watching whole seasons of whatever TV show the kids are talking about these days.
Don’t believe us? Here are 10 Ways America Makes Italian Things More American.
The dramatic musical form of opera began in 16th century Italy, spreading through Europe soon after. Today you can still see opera in a semblance of its original form either live in very fancy buildings or when movie theaters stream the opera in HD, which they are doing all the time, just go see a movie and you’ll see previews for that mixed in with the regular trailers and ads. Really, not even kidding!
And although scarfing down popcorn and soda while watching opera on the big screen could arguably be the most American way of doing opera, we know it comes second to the rap opera. We’re pretty sure it’s in the Bible, that after God created opera it made way for the rock opera which made way for the “hip hopera” made most famous by R. Kelly’s 33-chapter-long Trapped in the Closet, a story of cheating …
and driving cars like this a bunch.
Pasta supposedly dates back to 12th century Sicily, which is, of course, a place in Italy. Boy, that sounds a bit too fancy for our tastes.
Fortunately, a rounder, canned, and more kid-friendly version came along when SpaghettiOs were invented in 1965 by the Campbell Soup Company. In America.
OK, technically, we have to that say SpaghettiOs are really, probably, technically … NOT SPAGHETTI. BUT, fun fact: Who cares? Not us. Not America. We love silly food!
With construction beginning in 70 AD, The Colosseum still stands today as one of the most iconic symbols of emperial rome. Holding upwards of 87,000 people, the massive arena saw ancient gladiators battle to the death for pride and family prestige.
Cut to present day America and our Coliseums (different spelling) are filled with thousands of middle class people cheering on abnormally, athletic millionaires. And so as not depress them too much, we distract their attention with a dazzling display of indoor fireworks (never a good idea), $15 Super Supreme Nachos (always a good idea) and of course, sexy halftime dancers.
That’s right, here in America, we’ve made Italians themselves more American! To learn how, you need look no further than American-born celebrity chef Mario Batali, considered by many to be a master of Italian cuisine, despite the insane fact that he owns 200 pairs of orange Crocs.
Good luck trying to top this one Italy, because they don’t even make orange Crocs anymore.
LEANING TOWER OF PISA
One of the most unique architectural landmarks in the world, the Leaning Tower of Pisa has managed to stand since its construction during the 12th and 13th century, despite a weak foundation and a very eery resemblance to our drunk uncle, Dave. Of course, millions of tourists flock to the site each year to get a look at this Italian marvel, but only Americans would use their precious vacation days, book international flights, and plan a day trip to the village of Pisa just to take this photo:
The bicycle has a complicated history. Leonardo da Vinci might have sketched it once? Or one of his students did. But the first to invent it was probably a French or German person. It’s all kind of confusing. You’ve seen that movie, though, The Bicycle Thief? That movie’s Italian. Is all we’re saying.
Nowadays, though, bikes are a staple of American childhood.
Not to mention there’s Pee Wee.
And because leisurely biking wasn’t enough, our best and brightest bikers took to hard drugs just they could bike just a little bit harder. And hey, what’s more American than that. Hands in!
ITALIAN SPORTS CARS
From Fiat to Ferrari, Lamborghini to Maserati, Italian cars have a tradition as rich as any in the world. Built upon sleek style, and focusing on speed, these machines are without a doubt the world’s finest. Little could, or should, be done to mess with what can only be described as perfection on four wheels.
SIKE! This is perfection. America wins. Thanks for playing. Please try again.
Jeans seem American. Like they’re meant for cowboys or otherwise for a single pair to be shared by four girl best friends with different body types at a crucial time in their adolescence. But long before they made it to America, jeans originated in Genoa, Italy. The French way of saying Genoa is Gênes, and the American way of saying Gênes is “jeans”. The more you know!
This is what O.G. jeans looked like:
But give Americans a couple hundred years, and here’s what you’re left with. Pretty cool, right?
The very first condom was created in 1564 by Italian physician Gabriele Fallopio as a way to prevent syphilis. Of course, being a brilliant physician in the 16th century was probably a great way to get with your share of sexy ancient Italian chicks, so if we had to guess, this was probably done more to prevent the doctor himself from catching syphilis, than for any altruistic reason. Nevertheless, it was a great idea that’s kept centuries upon centuries worth of people from becoming either way less people (disease) or way more (birth control).
Of course, Americans have since had our chance to get our hands on condoms. And while condom technology improved greatly since the Fallopian days, their main function has not. Leave it to America to change that once and for all.
You’re welcome, world.
Did you know the piano was an Italian invention? Yup, early 18th century. Honestly though, the fact that you even doubted us, despite this being pretty far down on a list of exclusively ITALIAN things, is crazy and is making us question your trust issues. It’s on the list, it’s Italian, OK? Sheesh. In case you wondered, Bartolomeo Cristofori actually invented the first piano, but that’s not important anymore.
Why? Because you’re about to forget everything you ever knew about the piano, as you witness it’s elevation to a level never-before-seen. Once again, an American takes the basic and makes it extreme. Centuries of people have strived to climb Mount Piano, but only one man has ever reached the peak. That man? John Mother-f**king Tesh.