Sasso Marconi: Where radio was invented. A suburb to Bologna in Italy has been renamed after Guglielmo Marconi who invented the radio.
Now Sasso Marconi is not a place you would normally choose to visit, unless you want to experience Bologna in high summer without having to survive the humid heat that settles over this part of the Po Valley, especially in the evenings. Sasso Marconi is situated on the Setta river right where the Apennines rise with promises of a cooling breeze, but the town is not much more than a sleepy suburb in scenic surroundings, 15 minutes’ drive from Bologna.
The most interesting aspect about Sasso Marconi is in fact that the city has not always been known by that name. Until 80 years ago, the municipality was called Praduro e Sasso, but in 1935 it changed its name to Bolognese Sasso and in 1938 it became Sasso Marconi after Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, who was born and lived most of his life in Villa Griffon in this town. Small European cities rarely contribute to this kind of personality cult, but the date is probably significant as is the fact the Guglielmo Marconi was a close friend of Benito Mussolini.
When Marconi died, 63 years old, in 1937 he had a state funeral, and all radio stations throughout the world observed two minutes’ silence. Marconi is – at least according to the Italians – the person who invented the radio, and this might explain the honour.
Forty-three years earlier in 1894 Guglielmo Marconi began to experiment with wireless telegraphs, and he managed to send and pick up a signal over a distance of 1.5 kilometers from Villa Griffon. In 1896 he traveled to England to obtain funding for his invention, and he soon became famous on both sides of the Atlantic. He established Marconi International Marine Communication Company, which made it possible to maintain radio contact with ships. And in 1909 he received the Nobel Prize in physics.
Today, radio nerds can study the Marconi collection on the award-winning Internet site “Marconi Calling” or visit Museo Marconi, where the inventor’s work tools, equipment and experimental setups are exhibited. which also houses the Marconi’s mausoleum. As a tribute to a great and not quite forgotten Italian.
Other towns that have been renamed apart from Sasso Marconi where radio was invented