What’s a huge replica of the 1909 Nobel Prize awarded to Guglielmo Marconi doing on the side of an Italian Riviera castle built in 1550 to deter African pirates?
Marconi, an inventor who didn’t do well in school, was fascinated by radio waves and what you could do with them. According to his Nobel autobiography/biography:
In 1900 he took out his famous patent No. 7777 for “tuned or syntonic telegraphy” and, on an historic day in December 1901, determined to prove that wireless waves were not affected by the curvature of the Earth, he used his system for transmitting the first wireless signals across the Atlantic between Poldhu, Cornwall, and St. John’s, Newfoundland, a distance of 2100 miles.
Marconi had some close ties to the area. His yacht, the Electra, (l’Elettra) was often moored around Santa Margherita Ligure and the gulf of Portofino, where he conducted experiments based on his fascination with short-waves and radar in order to make navigation for such boats easier. In fact, if you walk into the Grand Hotel Miramare, a top hotel in Santa Margherita Ligure, you’ll see a plaque commemorating the 1933 experiments he conducted from the Hotel’s terrace, passing short waves between the hotel and the Electra.