Advantages and disadvantages of the automatic transmission

When you think machines with automatic change are believed to be mostly the big American cars roaring over the long highways. Not everyone knows that the first automatic transmission in history is patented in Italy, even in 1931!
It is true that the automatic gearbox has spread mainly in the United States, while in Europe and Italy remains the standard mechanical transmission. However, this custom is slow in the absence due to the increasing market penetration, even in Europe, of the car with an automatic gearbox. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a choice?

The principle of the automatic transmission is to replace the coupling with a torque converter, a device said between the gearbox and the engine. Thus, the clutch pedal is completely eliminated: this can be considered an advantage, especially for those looking for simplicity and comfort. Also security is positively influenced:
The driver of the car, not having to put down and downshifting time, can always hold both his hands on the wheel. Regarding comfort, the more classic situation in which the automatic gearbox looks useful to the user in the procession on a moving column where it usually has to juggle between the brake, clutch and accelerator to switch to a few Meters every time,