In 1840 what we might call the first IT conference was held in Turin. The British mathematician Charles Babbage presented his “analytical machine”, the first programmable computer. The project wwas described by Luigi Menabrea, an engineer and officer of the Piedmontese army, at the basis of the work of Ada Lovelace, mathematicians and IT pioneer as well as being the daughter of the famous Romantic poet Lord Byron. A hundred years later computers are a fact of life, and the first Italian computer was set up in Pisa driven by Enrico Fermi, fruit of cooperation between public research and Olivetti. Unfortunately the untimely death of Adriano Olivetti and Mario Tchou led to a halt in the work. However, in 1964 Olivetti made the first personal computer in the world, Programma 101. Fifty years have gone back and AI is now becoming part of our lives. At GiovedìScienza we retrace the glorious albeit little known history of Italian IT.