Search
ita
Search
ita
Accedi all’Archivio online
Esplora l’Archivio online per trovare fonti e materiali. Seleziona la tipologia di supporto documentale che più ti interessa e inserisci le parole chiave della tua ricerca.
  • Documenti
  • Fotografie
  • Disegni e manifesti
  • Audiovisivi
  • Pubblicazioni e riviste
  • Tutti
Assistenza alla consultazione
Per richiedere la consultazione del materiale conservato nell’Archivio Storico e nelle Biblioteche della Fondazione Pirelli al fine di studi e ricerche e conoscere le modalità di utilizzo dei materiali per prestiti e mostre, compila il seguente modulo.
Riceverai una mail di conferma dell'avvenuta ricezione della richiesta e sarai ricontattato.

Dichiaro di avere preso visione dell’informativa relativa al trattamento dei miei dati personali, e ai sensi dell’art. 6 del GDPR autorizzo la Fondazione Pirelli al trattamento dei miei dati personali per le finalità ivi descritte.

I campi contrassegnati con * sono obbligatori
Prenota un percorso Educational
Seleziona il grado di istruzione della scuola di appartenenza
  • Scuola Primaria

  • Scuola Secondaria di I grado

  • Scuola Secondaria di II grado

  • Università

Back
success
fail
Scuola Primaria
Prenota un percorso Educational
Seleziona il laboratorio che ti interessa e il giorno
Inserisci i dati richiesti, il nostro team confermerà la disponibilità via mail

Dichiaro di avere preso visione dell’informativa relativa al trattamento dei miei dati personali, e ai sensi dell’art. 6 del GDPR autorizzo la Fondazione Pirelli al trattamento dei miei dati personali per le finalità ivi descritte.

I campi contrassegnati con * sono obbligatori
Back
Scuole secondarie di I° grado
Prenota un percorso Educational
Seleziona il laboratorio che ti interessa e il giorno
Inserisci i dati richiesti, il nostro team confermerà la disponibilità via mail

Dichiaro di avere preso visione dell’informativa relativa al trattamento dei miei dati personali, e ai sensi dell’art. 6 del GDPR autorizzo la Fondazione Pirelli al trattamento dei miei dati personali per le finalità ivi descritte.

I campi contrassegnati con * sono obbligatori
Back
Scuole secondarie di II° grado
Prenota un percorso Educational
Seleziona il laboratorio che ti interessa e il giorno
Inserisci i dati richiesti, il nostro team confermerà la disponibilità via mail

Dichiaro di avere preso visione dell’informativa relativa al trattamento dei miei dati personali, e ai sensi dell’art. 6 del GDPR autorizzo la Fondazione Pirelli al trattamento dei miei dati personali per le finalità ivi descritte.

I campi contrassegnati con * sono obbligatori
Back
Università
Prenota un percorso Educational

Vuoi organizzare un percorso personalizzato con i tuoi studenti? Per informazioni e prenotazioni scrivi a universita@fondazionepirelli.org

Visita la Fondazione
Invia la tua richiesta per una visita guidata alla Fondazione Pirelli

Dichiaro di avere preso visione dell’informativa relativa al trattamento dei miei dati personali, e ai sensi dell’art. 6 del GDPR autorizzo la Fondazione Pirelli al trattamento dei miei dati personali per le finalità ivi descritte.

I campi contrassegnati con * sono obbligatori
Type here to search the Pirelli Foundation website
On the car

The car, born this century, took its place amidst the mechanical instruments of our lives during its first decade. King Victor bought his first car in 1901. In Milan, a number of taxis were circulating in 1902, among thousands of horse legs and highly polished carriages with ground crystal lights. On dirt roads in the countryside, cars pushed to 40 km an hour raise “clouds of dust” like the gods of Olympus descending into the Troad to rescue their respective protégés. Paul Morand in his short essay “Mille Neufcent” (1900) dedicates some very lively notes to the car, as well as to its drivers, owners or users. The Prince of Wales often Drove a car on the Bois de Boulogne at 25 km an hour, with the engine in the place of the fifth wheel. An orang-utan fur coat, polar explorer’s gloves, a hooded visor suitable for a polar admiral, glacier goggles, a tartan travel rug – these were the marks of a driver.

In Italy, he was called a chauffeur, which in French means stoker, the driver’s assistant. Many years later the poetico-philological genius who led Italy to hell, in an impetus of autarchic philologism, having decided to banish from the language its hated Gallicisms (although the Gallicism was just our mistake in French), coined the word autista (driver). At that point I took to my bed with anger, and then my anger passed. Today… I say and write autista as though it were nothing, the same way I write machinist or flautist.

The first of the two world wars accelerated the insertion of cars into European life, and I believe also in Japan and urban South America. For “los caminos” and “las carreteras” of the pampas, whether of brown or red earth, the horse was more reliable. In wartime Europe, logistical services gradually abandoned their undernourished horses, or mares, as Ugo Foscolo would have it, and turned to the car, to the “trucks” – in autarchic terms autocarri. For the Tonale Pass and Monte Grappa, however, mules were favoured. World War I demanded an enormous consumption of projectiles. When it was over, as always happens, someone did the calculations, and declared that in order to conquer a mountain, half a million shots were fired and eight thousand seven hundred shells, of which forty were large or very large calibre. A number of 381 shells remained unexploded in the gravel pit of the Fàiti, together with some of their 420 Austrian counterparts. To transport these huge salamis full of tnt, which made the skin crawl just to see them, horses were not sufficient.

The car, born this century, took its place amidst the mechanical instruments of our lives during its first decade. King Victor bought his first car in 1901. In Milan, a number of taxis were circulating in 1902, among thousands of horse legs and highly polished carriages with ground crystal lights. On dirt roads in the countryside, cars pushed to 40 km an hour raise “clouds of dust” like the gods of Olympus descending into the Troad to rescue their respective protégés. Paul Morand in his short essay “Mille Neufcent” (1900) dedicates some very lively notes to the car, as well as to its drivers, owners or users. The Prince of Wales often Drove a car on the Bois de Boulogne at 25 km an hour, with the engine in the place of the fifth wheel. An orang-utan fur coat, polar explorer’s gloves, a hooded visor suitable for a polar admiral, glacier goggles, a tartan travel rug – these were the marks of a driver.

In Italy, he was called a chauffeur, which in French means stoker, the driver’s assistant. Many years later the poetico-philological genius who led Italy to hell, in an impetus of autarchic philologism, having decided to banish from the language its hated Gallicisms (although the Gallicism was just our mistake in French), coined the word autista (driver). At that point I took to my bed with anger, and then my anger passed. Today… I say and write autista as though it were nothing, the same way I write machinist or flautist.

The first of the two world wars accelerated the insertion of cars into European life, and I believe also in Japan and urban South America. For “los caminos” and “las carreteras” of the pampas, whether of brown or red earth, the horse was more reliable. In wartime Europe, logistical services gradually abandoned their undernourished horses, or mares, as Ugo Foscolo would have it, and turned to the car, to the “trucks” – in autarchic terms autocarri. For the Tonale Pass and Monte Grappa, however, mules were favoured. World War I demanded an enormous consumption of projectiles. When it was over, as always happens, someone did the calculations, and declared that in order to conquer a mountain, half a million shots were fired and eight thousand seven hundred shells, of which forty were large or very large calibre. A number of 381 shells remained unexploded in the gravel pit of the Fàiti, together with some of their 420 Austrian counterparts. To transport these huge salamis full of tnt, which made the skin crawl just to see them, horses were not sufficient.

Transport was carried out with trucks, as was the supply of rations, the towing of artillery, the “reinforcements of men”, the entrenchment of the generals. In the human brain, always fertile with ever new notions, little by little the idea took shape that the old “Patatruk” of King Charles and King Victor, the infantryman and engineer of Goito and San Martino, little by little could and should be replaced with a self-transporting infantryman, a self-transported regiment: a motorised division.

Hence hundreds and thousands of trucks, and cars. The old general with a white plume riding his sorrel horse harnessed with a panther skin was gradually succeeded by the modern general in a driver’s uniform. In Italy, it is needless to recall, the car industry developed in the old capital of the infantrymen of Goito and San Martino – but in other cities as well. The summary of the history of this industry would fill a book: the industry itself could take care of the preparation, compensating the historiographer.

Today the car is what it is, and is used for what it is used for. It is pointless to describe for you what stands in front of your eyes. The old stables have been replaced by garages – autarchically rimesse.

The tepid and vital scent of the stables, the swarms of mosquitoes that surrounded them, have been replaced by the hygienic, certainly, but also the angry cataracts of the shutters of garages, from five in the morning to half past three the next night. The rational, functional architects could not fail to include in their list (of the purposes and the functions of the house) the falling shutters of the garages. All considered, it is obvious that every car has to have its own garage, just as every husband has a wife; although we know today, under the skies of Rome, of herds of cars in the wild that spend the nights and even winters outdoors. No, not even in the winter solstice do they find a place to stay, a suburban shed.

[…] But from time to time the police find them six or seven kilometres away from their usual parking place, delivering them back to their owners with the locks forced, and minus the luggage that was inside: the big crocodile suitcase full of fine linens and emeralds, cameras and Canadian dollars. Other cars, as you know better than me, are stolen “temporarily” to go and steal something. Stealing them to keep them or sell them is not worth the bother: the make, the shape, the colour, the cushions, the engine serial number, the number plate, the vehicle registration book, the tank full of petrol for which there is no money. And then the police would start one of those hassles which never come to an end, or which rather end with two years of investigations by the court and three in jail – eight of which would be remitted, to be sure. There is this in favour of a stolen car: that the good public heart, not having enough prisons (to hold all of us who deserving to pay a visit to them) starts from the exquisitely topical point of view of reform and re-insertion. Reforming the thief for the society of the robbed and putting him back in circulation, inserting him into the circle of the most worthwhile social values, among which cars occupy first place. […]

But the purpose, the end, of this form of transport is not only to transport bombs and bombards in wartime and to press our social conscience to work for the recovery of robbers and plunderers in peacetime: oh, no! There is also the other, the legitimate and I would say holy aim, of motorising daily work, speeding up and expediting trade, the transfer of people and foodstuffs, trips for archaeological and explorative purposes, pilgrimages of faithful to the site of their particular devotion, the roadtrips of the people, the earthworks and the transport of soil necessary to open the roads where the vehicle itself can then drive at full speed.

In civil life today the lower-middle class runabout or the middle-class 1100-1500, like urban and suburban bus lines, are indispensable: to the life of the professional, the commercial agent, the clerk, to the life of the working people, to the public rescue services: the fire brigade, ambulance service and police. The extension and multiplication of “urban centres”, of “residential areas”, of “garden cities”, of “reclamation houses”, makes the new instrument of private as well as public locomotion more necessary than ever. The writer, when he writes, is seated; and at that moment he does not need a car: but he does need it for the reconnaissance of the country.

In Rome today, it is difficult to live without a car: and I live with difficulty. With other people’s cars, it is hard to apply oneself to reading, studying or sleeping. Every night at three o’clock I am awoken, after going to bed with the lights on, by an engine starting up under the functional window of my rational home. I imagine that this is someone “who drives”, and I leave it you to imagine why he departs from Vascello every night at three to go to sleep in Città Giardino.

I do not want to embitter you, nor embitter my own soul by recalling the “inconveniences” of the road […]. No, I do not want to sadden myself or anyone else. As the optimist that I try to be, the believer – oh, yes, a believer in a better tomorrow – I will provide a form of prayer and “constructive” exorcism to the acerbic statistical results. And in a fraternal spirit I will say: be cautious, that is to say honest and civil, in using and taking advantage of your indispensable car: remember that there are other people in the world as well: do not make the mistake of overtaking on a curve, of overtaking in line with the horizon, descending from the Moncenisio or Stelvio, cutting through the hairpin bends, for the pleasure of catapulting yourself into the abyss embedded in the bonnet of those who are coming towards you. As for excesses of speed, you can assume that the speed you should attain is not exclusively a function of your merit, that is, your expertise in driving and your courage. It is a function with several, multiple variables: from the conditions of the road to the civil discipline of the location, from the weather, from the light you have or do not have in your eyes, to the statistical probability of meeting or not meeting an obstacle, or a fellow driver in the opposite direction. Do not play like children at level crossings, especially if you are crossing the railway with a load of petrol cans or oxygen canisters. When you would like to have the honour of taking me on board, please do not in any way exceed 30 in the city, or 40-50 “along the road between the green suburban trees” – that 40-50 which is more than suitable for your precious cargo… who has so kindly set out with you.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COOKIES

This website uses third-party profiling Cookies in order to send you advertisements corresponding to your preferences.
If you would like to obtain more information or refuse your consent to use of all or some of the Cookies, you may consult our Cookie Policy.