Italians were the first Europeans to master fireworks, though it is believed that fireworks originated in China roughly 2,000 years ago. Many credit Marco Polo with bringing gunpowder back to Italy after his travels on the Silk Road during the 13th century.
Initially, gunpowder was employed in the building of weapons like cannons and muskets. It wasn't until the Renaissance that it became popular to use fireworks to memorialize victories in battle or augment public celebrations. Though fireworks were used in various European countries, including England and Germany, Italy was the first country to add various metals to the gunpowder to create multicolored fireworks.