Hiatus week comes to an end with the usual tradition: hotel brochures.

Really, it's a tradition! Don't you remember these things? I think it was Haiti last year.

I find these in the antique stores, and they’re always fascinating. The shots of the interiors tell you how the world looked - something that made far more of an impression on people than the exteriors of the day, particularly if they were international style, featureless and severe.

We begin here. Where?

This place still exists; I’m not surprised, but I am.

Where was it?

South of the enormous sailboat-wrecking fish, that's where.

Telephone, radio - all the modern comforts! Except TV, it seems.

The bar: rather underwhelming.

Compare to the elegant, cozy spaces you see in today’s brochures, with the shelves of bottles, all cleverly lit. It’s underwhelming, but the chairs add a lively note. They’re also ugly. Lively, but ugly.

The dining room. It’s . . . it’s got modern cone lighting! But they seem too high up to do anything.

What I presume was the Skinned Lizard Lounge:

Look at that lamp in the corner. The whole place just seems off to modern eyes - and hardly the height of vacation glamour.

Let's find another place after the break.






This is almost a Tintin illustration:

Exactly so today:

The building in the background was the Palace of the People of Italy, a Mussolini-era structure that reminds you how lousy fascist architecture was. It was built as The Information Building, where the state newspaper was printed. Wikipedia:

The building, imposing in size and with a monumental shape, was erected in conjunction with the reorganization of Piazza Cavour and after the demolition of the old Polytechnic and the Hotel Cavour in the period of large urban reorganizations operated by the fascist administration in the center of Milan

So the hotel's part of the Fascist remodeling of the neighborhood as well. Not mentioned in the brochure, as it happens. Odd.

The swank / modern / cool 60s styles never quite line up with what we imagine, do they?

But I like it. That wood with that blue? Nah. But I don't care. The staircase absolves everything.

If the ceilings are high, it's European luxury!

"So, what do you have to drink?"

< Bartender sighs, gestures weakly at shelf >

It looks like one of those Mystery Spot rooms where people walk at angles and short people appear tall:

Cold floors. Harsh light. Slippery fabrics.

At some point Europeans began to expect soft floors, and all the hotels were better for it.

Well, that's it - back on Monday with some exciting tales. I hope. Thanks for bearing with Hiatus Week.




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