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TRUE, THE FOLLOWING are “collectible postcards,” but they’re also little pieces of art. Here are tidbits associated with these cartoline and their subjects.
Hotel Eden, Rome. Located at Via Ludovisi, 49, the Hotel Eden isn’t far from the Piazza di Spagna, the Spanish Steps. I recall finding really neat driving gloves at a little shop to the left of the steps. There’s also a sushi bar just around the corner from the hotel.
The affluent Ludovisi family had a villa and gardens in the area since the 1600s. By the late 1800s, parklands and vineyards had been sold off, and around 1887 elegant residential apartments were erected along Via Ludovisi.
When the Hotel Eden opened in 1889, it was the first hotel in Rome to feature electricity, heating, running water, and an elevator.
“The best hotel in Rome,” wrote a Murray’s Handbook advertisement, “with commanding views of the city and surrounding countryside.”
Postcards from the Fiat Collection.“Le Bellezze Della Fiat” has already appeared here at SimanaitisSays. This time, these postcards are reproduced from art in the Fiat archives “carried out without having to use halftone screens and, for printing , a palette of over 20 colour tones was used….
The new Balilla, introduced in 1932, was “for all the lady’s elegance.” Its goal was to incorporate the qualities of a high-class automobile in a car of modest price.
The Fiat 519 was a luxurious automobile powered by a 4.8-liter six-cylinder engine. The company produced 2411 examples between 1922 and 1927. I love the coloration of this poster, with its fetching little frog admiring the elegantly attired passengers disembarking.
The 1923 Italian Grand Prix was the first designated as the European Grand Prix. Fiat 805s finished first and second, less than a minute apart after some 5 1/2 hours of racing. American Jimmy Murphy and his Miller finished third, some five minutes behind.
Torre di Bellosguardo. Until 20 years ago, Torre di Bellosguardo was a private residence; indeed, today this luxurious hotel is still the home of its owners as well.
“An avenue of timeless cypresses,” the booklet describes, “ frames the handsome facade of Torre di Bellosguardo, protected by the maternal marble figure of Charity, the work of the famous Flemish sculptor Francavilla.”
Guido Cavalcanti, Florentine nobleman and friend of Dante, named this venue for its beautiful view back in the 1200s.
“No two rooms are alike. Each one holds a surprise: warm wooden beams or a 16th-century rosette-studded ceiling, a gilded four-poster bed in which to dream, or small 15th-century drawers in which to place one’s belongings.”
One’s fond memories need more than small drawers, but postcard-size illustrations work admirably. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2022