(translation by Maya Barolo-Rizvi)
How the Idea Was Born
is no longer necessary to repeat what a grand date for Italy was the 27th of March of 1861. As the mayors of Rome and Turin- Nathan and Flora- stated in their joint proclamation: the third Italy in the bold security of its destiny and the audacity of its inescapable will before the entire world, from the mouth of its representatives, solemnly affirmed, on that day, its identity and its unity, with Rome at its head: the eternal city, cradle of civilization, centre and heart of its new destiny.
To properly commemorate that memorable date, and with it the 100th anniversary of the birth of Cavour, falling in the year 1910, Rome and Turin come together in brotherly spirit with a big plan: that to demonstrate to the new generations of Italians, and to the entire world, which great journey our country has made from the day that the Subalpine Parliament proclaimed our country reunited into one Nation. And so, two simultaneous Expositions were decided: one – international – in Turin, of industrial nature and collecting all the various manifestations of economic activity; the other in Rome, summarizing the Idea that inspired that activity with patriotic, historic and artistic displays.
As soon as Turin had defined its plan for the Exposition, an influential assembly of citizens decided (14 February 1907) to form the General Committee to organize an International Exposition of Industries and Work.
Senator Secondo Flora, who at the time was the Mayor of Turin, was elected to the presidency of the General Committee. The vice presidency was shared by four ex-mayors: Senators Count F. Rignon and Count E. Balbo Bertone di Sambuy, Sir Severino Casana and the lawyer Alfonso Badini Confalonieri.
By offering his best wishes for the success of the Exposition, the King accepted the high patronage of the Exposition, as the Duke of Aosta accepted the honorary presidency of the Executive Commission. The Honourable Tommaso Villa who had always taken all the Turinese Expositions to magnificent triumph, was nominated the Executive President of this Commission.
The assembly entrusted to the Honorable Flora and Villa the duty of forming the Executive Commission and this was formed as following:
President: Tommaso Villa. Vice presidents: Antonio Bianchi – Enrico Boyer – Delfino Orsi – Teofilo Rossi. Commissioners: Giacomo Albertini – Ferdinando Bocca – Edoardo Bosio – Riccardo Brayda – Emanuele Campredon dAlbaretto – Riccardo Cattaneo – Alberto Cauvin – Emanuele Costa di Polonghera – Edoardo Daneo – Cesare Ferrero di Cambiano – Paolo Gazzelli- Brucco – Ignazio Marsengo-Bastia –Felice Pani – Giovanni Sacheri – Lodovico Scarfiotti – Vittorio Sclopis.
The Executive Commission immediately went to work. For ability, alacrity, spirit of initiative and above all readiness and broad mindedness, the Executive Commission demonstrated itself worthy of the faith that everyone had entrusted to them. The subscription list, open with membership fees of 100 lira, and with obligations of free grant, gave immediately (thanks to this generous impulse not only of the Torinese citizenry but of all Italians and of an infinite number of cities, municipalities and local government) such a marvellous result that, without delay, the works were able to begin. Works of such a magnitude, even gigantic, and, still, punctually completed on the appointed day, thanks to that subalpine perseverance that always knows how to triumph gracefully in all of the most difficult situations.
Where Would the Exhibition be Held?
Here is a question that Turin did not have to be perplexed to answer! In the Valentino Park, that verdant and shadowy edge of the city, so poetic for the wide and silent river that runs alongside it and for its shadowy avenues and paths full of flowers. As you stroll through them, youll see, appearing and disappearing like changing scenarios, the Mountain of Capuchins, the hill of Superga, the heights of the Valleys of Salice and Santa Margherita, the tower of the Eremo, the placid expanse of the Po, the brown roofs of the old castle and the buildings of the mediaeval village – in the Valentino Park where the Expositions of 1984, 1898 and 1902 were already held.The Valentino Park and Castle
The Valentino Park, its old Castle and the characteristic medieval village, with its manner, would deserve, here, a broad illustrative mention
But we are bound by the most absolute brevity
The origins of the castle are not known; on the derivation of its name, there is much speculation. It might come from Valenza di Babbiano, a noblewoman from Chieri and wife of Renato Birago; or from a lady-in-waiting of Catherine of Austria, named Valentina and winner of a big hunt organized by Carlo Emanuele I in that area, or, lastly, from the Parties that the Valentines (knights of love) celebrated during the times of the Queen Regent.
It was precisely the Queen Regent who had the castle rebuilt from the ground up in 1633. Because of the jousts and tournaments of love that she continuously gave to you, the Castle was for a long time surrounded by thousands and varied legends.
The castle was built on the style of the French; with four quadrangle towers, with an steep roof and porticos and galleries in the Italian style. Inside, it has magnificent decorations and is historic because of the many events that happened within its walls.
In 1638 Francesco Giacinto, the firstborn of Vittorio Amedeo I, died in it, and in 1639, the castle hosted the discussion of the armistice between the Queen Regent and her brothers-in law Cardinal Maurizio and Prince Tommaso of Savoia. In 1645, the treaty witch which Turin was able to free itself from French control was signed in the castle. From the Valentino, in 1812, Madame Blancard set out on the first aeronautic trip that Piedmont had seen. Finally in 1827, by decree of Carlo Felice, the first Exposition was opened—an exposition that welcomed all the agricultural and commercial wealth of Piedmont.
For that, the rooms of the castle alone were enough; for todays Exhibition 1,200,000 square meters of space are barely enough!
Since 1860, the Royal School of Applied Engineering has been hosted in the Valentino Castle.
The Park is an equally recent creation. Begun in 1836, it was remade and enlarged in 1860 by the French landscapist Barillet Dchamps, a true and most ingenious artist, as Enrico Thovez well said. Dchamps astutely created artificial unevenness in the terrain in order to produce the impression of a space more vast and procure the illusion of being transported far from the city in a poetic scene of pleasant dales and sweet hillocks
From poetry to actual love, the distance is brief; and precisely for this reason during good weather, the Valentino Park is the destination of all the lovers strolls. How many people complained when the park was closed by inexorable fence of the Exposition!
How the Exposition Was Conceived and Arranged
It was decided that the new Exposition would be held in the Valentino Park as well. Separate edifices would be built also extending to the opposite bank, on that picturesque edge that is at the foot of the hill, in the big stretch that goes from the Umberto I Bridge to the distant Borgo del Pilonetto.
The serious, ponderous task of constructing, so to speak, the Exposition, conceiving it in its immense collective and in all is particulars, was given to the engineer-architects Pietro Fenoglio, Stefano Molli and Giacomo Salvadori di Wishenoff. They accomplished their task not just brilliantly, but they also overcame two huge difficulties: that of respecting the natural beauty of the Park, not sacrificing even one tree or group of bushes, and that of finding and knowing how to give the constructions of the Exposition a style in which was like the reflection of the architectural art of our own city.
To overcome the first difficulty, they knew how to imagine the most creative movements in the structure of the various buildings. To prevail over the second one, they thought about Juvara, to whom Turin owes a large part of its most noteworthy buildings; and from him, from his style, they derived the initial inspiration, the unitary concept between the various constructions.
The Program of the Exhibition
The Executive Commission, in fixing – with the cooperation of various consulting commissions – the Program of the Exposition, started from the idea of wanting reflected in the grand Exhibition the logical and organic concept with which the economic law of work and production proceeds and develops. Therefore, the Commission thought it would be of great interest to have the visitor concentrate on the factors that come together to create one of the principal elements of production, the worker. Then, the Commission concentrated on the ways and instruments with which one explains the workers activities; – of the help that natural forces provide to these activities; – of the various application of these activities to the transformation of products from the earth or from animals, of the first rudimentary industries to those more advanced and organized; – of the ways with which the products reach the markets and international life resounds across borders in thought and in action united in the quest for progress and wellbeing; – of the laws that govern the social economy and study the various relationship that develop in the vast arena of production and distribution of wealth; – and finally of the way with which one wants to guarantee peace and security, essential conditions for the development of economic forces in each competing nation with providential feeling of emulation and toward greatest prosperity and improvement of social life.
The Exposition was divided therefore into 26 groups, each of which has a particular expositive aim and that all together give a precise idea of the entire material and moral movement of our Nation. Each group reflects all the most varied problems that inform our life: education and instruction in all of its multiple forms; defence of the country; industry, agriculture, commerce, all the scientific problems, from difficult mechanics to all the applications of electricity, the complex problems of roads and railways, profoundly innovative ideas on the conception and construction of modern cities, all the sports that are such a big part of todays life, arriving as far as those demonstrations that – like automobilism and aviations – yesterday were still included in the sport field and today are now completely ready to enter into the much vaster one of practical life.
Lastly, the particular preoccupation of the Commission was the desire to present to the visitors as much as was possible the show of work in action.
The Buildings of the Exposition
The First Impression
It is impossible to describe the first impression that one experiences walking between the sumptuous magnificence of all these constructions that arose, as though by incantation, on the two banks of the river. Occupying a covered area of 350,000 square meters, these buildings remind us, in a phantasmagorical vision, of the architectural nobility of the eighteenth century in Piedmont. We feel seized by two profoundly different sentiments: admiration and melancholy.
Admiration, for such abundance of beauty. Melancholy, for the short life destined for all these magnificent things, created in such a short amount of time, and fated to disappear forever in even a shorter time.
But the melancholic considerations would be inopportune amongst all this abundance of good energy. Lets rather listen to the echo that comes from the fairgrounds – the eco of the beautiful song that bursts out of the Machinery Hall. It is a song that incites and inebriates – and that invites us into this improvised city, all vibrant with fervor and force, and from which it is impossible not to leave with the spirit nobly elated.
As it was already said speaking about the general architectures of the Exposition, all the edifices were envisioned by the engineers Pietro Fenoglio, Stefano Moll and Giacomo Salvadori di Wieshenoff, including the very ingenious Monumental Bridge and the grandiose Castle of the Waters, and the Pavilions of France, Germany and England. Of the Pavilions of other foreign nations, constructed with the designs of other architects and in a different style, we will make mention, separately in their own time, specifying the creator and the style by which he was inspired.
ON THE LEFT BANK
The Palace of Fashion
It is only one floor; it has a faade 60 meters long and occupies a space of 1590 meters.
Architecturally it is one of the most charming, even in the planned modesty of its proportions. The two foreparts that are on the corners of the Palace and that end with golden domes are well balanced with the central structure that displays big circular windows. The loft is decorated with statues and vases.
Inside, in the central area there is a wide gallery that expands into a vast hall. In this gallery the fairgoers can stroll and admire the enchanting views of all the adjoining halls, since over 600 square meters of all the gallerys walls are made of glass. All the adjoining halls are furnished and decorated in different styles in order to provide the public with the most exquisite feelings of beauty and art. Here you see an entire house. There is the vestibule, the dining room, the tea parlour, the bedroom, the dance hall, et cetera. In every room there are artistic mannequins built with taste and with the greatest care for detail. They offer a varied and perfect idea of elegant society in every aspect of contemporary life. To complete this idea there are three large panoramic paintings, completed on sketches by Giorgio Ceragioli, representing three different moments of the life of the upper classes: On the Skating Rink, At the Paper Hunt, On the Beach.
The Pavilion of Art Applied to Industry
As we exit the Palace of Fashion and enter the The Pavilion of Art Applied to Industry, we train our heart and our mind to a whole sequence of feelings of admiration. This Pavilion is the central wing of a group of connected buildings that, all together, form one of the largest structures in the Exposition. It was built by Lorini & Co. The building occupies a total area of 8000 meters and is not only one the largest for the space it occupies but also one of the richest for the variety and elegance of its architectural forms, for the daring and agility of its domes, and the loveliness of the interior decorations.
This building, which comprises, in special pavilions, the Exhibit of the Modern City, ends in the Botanical Garden area with a grand pavilion used with its adjoining galleries to the Exhibit of the City of Turin. Due to the uneven nature of the terrain, the construction of this building created a difficult challenge.
This very challenged inspired the builders to create new architectonic solutions and created a group of varied and interesting buildings that nevertheless maintained a perfect harmony.
The entrance to the section of the building devoted to the Arts applied to Industry is lavish. The facade that is crowned by the great dome of the central hall is grandiose. The dome ends on a pinnacle with a Winged Victory, which is 45 meters high from the ground.
One cannot but think about some magnificent eighteenth-century villas when one admires the central courtyard all decorated with railings, statues, and fountains, or when one climbs the large staircases leading to the pronao (colonnaded entrance) from which one accesses the inner galleries where the interesting exhibit takes place.
This exhibit is very interesting and modern in its character, as in the past one could not have thought about the collaboration of art and industry.
Our age instead understood how much they could help each other and how much their combination could help the development of peoples aesthetic sense.
Pieces of furniture and knick-knacks, everyday tableware and decorative ceramics and bronze, interior decorations and tiny bric-a-brac: all these things can be beautiful or ugly, creative or banal, exquisite or vulgar, depending on whether they are made by artists or uncouth craftsmen.
There was a long path to carve in this area, a whole patient task of education to accomplish.
In this exhibit there is the triumphant display of all the Italy has produced.
But the Exhibition of Art applied to Industry has another unique feature: it hosts the special Exhibit of Japan. Here, as well as in the Gallery of the Manufacturing Industries Japan displays many creative and typical products of its industrial art.
The Exhibit of the Modern City
Without going out of this large building, following the beautiful galleries that unfold with ingenious movement and take us to always new Pavilions, and keeping to the right, we arrive to the Exhibition of the Modern City.
This Exhibit is among those that will attract the attention of those who are more sensitive to the current complex social problem.
If you think in which agglomerations people lived in the past, and observe the rational criteria that govern the many aspects of todays social life, you cannot fail to see that the progress towards a greater and more complex social and moral wellbeing has been enormous.
And yet, in the invention and creation of the modern city there is still an enormous program to complete from the most elementary hygienic rules to the most refined comforts.
There are so many things that we still have to say about the varied issues of modern urban life: we need to talk about the underground, where the sewers run, the construction of road systems and their use in relation to the increased traffic, the problems of urban waste and its disposal, safety and law enforcement, heating and lighting, the complex issues of construction science related to the architectural beauty of a home that is in harmony with the wellbeing of its inhabitants, the moral problem of education, schooling, welfare, and assistance in all their different forms.
Every city and town council show what they have accomplished and what they will do in the future in this exhibit that occupies a surface of 2000 square meters and that has a character that is more social and artistic than industrial.
The Exhibit of the City of Turin
And now that following the ingenious design conceived by the engineer-creators of the Exposition, the galleries lead us to the pavilion and the adjacent structures that host the Exhibit of the City of Turin – a display that on its own occupies 1400 square meters.
The magnificent square showroom is surmounted – like the octagonal one of the Pavilion of the Art Applied to Industry – by a svelte, elegant and daring dome, which from the ground to the cusp, is 47.5 meters tall. The exhibit deserves a close examination, as it is evidence of the progress that the old capital of Piedmont achieved in half a century of thoughtfully collected and silently industrious existence.
Lets exit onto the grand avenue. Immediately on our left, our gaze will stop on a construction that, for its architectural character, separates itself completely from the other buildings.
Roofs dramatically slanted, white decorative obelisks and characteristic chromatic ornamentations in majolica indicate to us the extremely exotic nature of this building.
This is the Pavilion of the Hungarian Exhibit. It occupies an area of 6000 square meters and was conceived by Professors E. Tory, M. Pogny and D. Gyorgyi, who were the winners of a national competition held for this purpose. The construction of this ingenious building, which transports us with the our imagination to a people so different from us in habits of life and yet so close to us in sentiment, were entrusted to the Fornaroli and Borrini Company and personally supervised by the Hungarian architect, Torok.
The Alpine Club Village
In this international Exhibit in which all the sports compete to leave their unique and modern mark, the Italian Alpine Club could certainly not be absent.
For this reason, and better than a single pavilion, an entire small mountain village was built, with a covered area of 708 square meters. It was conceived by the Turinese section of the Italian Alpine Club, and created by the ingenious engineers Chevalley and Morelli di Popolo. It is an entire typical little alpine village, with its little church in the Val DAosta style, with a nice group of farmhouses that makes us feel nostalgic for a more simple life, and with a small piazza on which the good people of the Alps converge on tranquil Sunday mornings to chat and gossip with friends.
This reproduction – made with a great sense of art and meticulous care to details – was truly a stroke of genius.
But the Alpine Village is something more than just an artistic but pure reproduction of a place and its surroundings. It is a true Alpine Exhibition. Its characteristic locales display all the most varied things that can be connected to the mountains, including the equipment, alpine gear, everything that has to do with expeditions, excursions and high climbs. The Exhibition also displays all the little crafts of the hard-working people of the mountain, and includes a complete collection of all the works that allows us to know, illustrate, appreciate, and make us love the mountains. Furthermore, the Exhibition shows all the complex, tenacious, and effective accomplishments of the Italian Alpine Club, with plastic models and alpine dioramas, and works of art illustrating the Alps and their lifestyle. Lastly, the exhibit hosts all the souvenirs and all the illustrated views of the big expeditions of the intrepid Duke of Abruzzi. Here is in short what this most ingenious exhibition contains.
The construction of the Alpine Village is in timber, matting and plaster; and the undertaking was entrusted to Mr Giovanni Gioia.
The Model Hotel of the Touring Club
On a backdrop of trees and an avenue of fir trees that create a mountainy ambiance, next to the Valentino Castle, having in front the Royal Navy Pavilion and the Festival Pavilion, the Model Alpine Hotel was built by the Executive Commission on the initiative of the Italian Touring Club.
With this Hotel, the Touring Club intended to summarize the research developed until now by a special Commission, charged to explore ways to modify substantially the conditions of comfort in many hotels.
The Model Hotel of the Touring Club responds in its simple, severe, and typical architectural lines to the needs of mountainous regions. In its decoration and furnishing, the Touring Club began with the concept of creating an airy hotel, full of light, simple elegance, taste, comfort, and where one can spend relatively little money. The hotel is accessible to the average family that has either the need or desire for the benefits of the mountains.
By a competition between the best Italian and foreign industrial firms, the Touring Club organized a complete Exhibition in the Hotel, including the furnishings (from the bedrooms to the kitchens), communication, heating, lighting, organization, restaurant, laundry, cellars, garages, storage shed, bicycle storeroom, carriage house, office of special information, and so on.
A large central drawing room, on the ground level, holds the general exhibition of the works of the Touring Club in all aspects of its program, from its inception onwards, constituted mainly of charts, diagrams, statistical data and various maps.
The Touring Club, apart from providing the organization of the Hotel, of special interest for hoteliers, called for competitions of great interest to all families, from one on decorating the table with simplicity and taste even if one is not rich, to the one on building cellars for the preservation of wines and liquors, to the one on hen houses and other competitions that have to do with the social class to which these hotels belong and the uses to which they are destined.
The original design of the said hotel is owed to the Engineer Faconti and the Architect Bargiggia, participants in the competition held by the Touring Club in 1908 for Hotel Designs (Progetti dalbergo), and markedly altered, mostly in the internal layout of the rooms, by the Engineer Stefini, president of the Hotel Improvement Commission of the Touring Club itself.
The construction was entrusted to the Milanese Carpentry.
The Model Hotel covers an area of 729 square meters and is 52 meters long in front.
The Aquarium, Hunting and Fishing
Almost in from the Alpine Village, on the bank of the Po, is the Aquarium (constructed in brickwork by Fornaroli and Borrini Co.) with an annex to the Exhibition of Fishing and Hunting.
A special description is unnecessary. The Exhibition, which attracts lots of enthusiasts, followers either of the calm sport of fishing with a pole or net, or of the pastime so dear to King Nemrod, occupies an area of 650 square meters and is 65 metres long in front.
The Monumental Bridge
Another amongst the big attractions of the Fair is without a doubt the Monumental Bridge.
Offering a passage with a bridge over the river was the simplest thing in the world. But the smartest stroke of genius of the three relentless creators of all the buildings of the Exhibition, the Engineers Fenoglio, Molli and Salvadori, was not to simply and easily get the visitors from one bank of the Po to the other. They created a convenient and shaded route in tunnels illuminated by innumerable little windows that open onto the river, and an enjoyable one via the quick transport of the tapis-roulant.
The grand bridge, constructed in wood and plaster by Viotti Brothers Co., is 106.5 meters long has 5 arches of 21.3 meters each. Halfway on each abutment there are two bow windows – one for each side – supported by caryatids sculpted by G.B. Alloati. In the middle of each bow window, begin columns by the sculptor Del Santo, with basements holding up Winged Victories by the sculptor Sassi.
One accesses the upper level of the bridge, as well as its three internal tunnels, by harmoniously and artistically designed flights of stairs.
The entrance to the three tunnels, internally decorated with stucco, is formed by a big hall. In the central tunnel, the tapis-roulant was installed. On the sides of the internal walls, dividing the three tunnels, there are half-moon windows. On the external walls, instead, the two lateral tunnels receive air and light from oval windows that offer the always-varied view of the grand river.
This pavilion in which our army presents us the entire progress achieved by the art of marine warfare, is formed by galleries adapted from a pre-existing construction. This building carries glorious memories, as it hosted the first Gymnasium that existed on Italy, founded in 1844, under the auspices of Carlo Alberto.
Obviously, this exhibit is mostly interesting to the experts in the field. Nevertheless, the plans and the models of the great warships, their equipment and armor-plating, the artilleries, munitions, and the various things that are found on board a ship from the provisions to the crews welfare and healthcare, can very well be interesting objects of study for amateurs.
The piece of resistance of this section is the tremendously grand cannon, weighing an impressive 56 tons.
In total, the Marine Pavilion occupies an area of 4,000 square meters.
The work was entrusted to Quadri and Colombo Co. The adapted construction is in wood, matting, and plaster.
The Villa of the Executive Commission
It is called thus, but it also hosts the various public service providers: the post, the telegraph, the telephone, police headquarters, the fire brigade, et cetera.
The edifice is comprised of three bodies: two lateral buildings, more imposing, on two floors; and one central building, lighter, and only on one floor. These buildings are connected through a colonnaded portico; all in all, the construction is charming, almost coquettish in the variety of movement of its layout and in its various heights. Swift little columns, big pilasters and ornamental festoons, big enclosed glass windows between the columns and the architraves and an attic with big shells and an entire beautiful row of flagpoles fluttering multicoloured standards.
The Pavilions of the Telegraph, Telephone, and Postal Services
Next to the abovementioned pavilion is another incredibly charming pavilion on two floors, constructed on the designs of the architect Giuseppe Calderini and occupying an area of about 600 square meters. This is composed of essentially two halls of about 60 square meters each, surmounted by octagonal domes that form two foreparts on the central facade, constituted by a connecting portico, which grants access to a large hall of about 770 square meters, surrounded by a gallery on two floors and illuminated by a huge skylight.
Here is the Exhibition of the Ministry of the Telegraph, Telephone, and Postal Services. This exhibition is interesting in many aspects, as it collects curious objects that by now have the value of relics and objects of historical importance that tell us about a by-gone age. It also displays things of high economic and scientific importance that demonstrate the immense progress the world has made in less than half a century in all the various way of facilitating human communication, even at great distances, and in addressing the social problem of poverty through the system of the Postal Savings.
Everything in this exhibition is collected with scientific method and in good chronological order, from the old postal messaging systems to the modern and rapid mail systems. Here you can learn about the telegraph with antenna and the wireless telegraph, the old telegraphic Morse code, and the incredibly fast Baudot system. You can see displays devoted to old accounting systems and the new systems of accounting of the Postal Savings. Then, there are tools and utensils used by the telephone service and finally the Ministry of the Post, Telegraph and Telephone has more displays in a gallery in the Festival Pavilion (The Philatelic Exhibition) and in the exhibition of Railway Materials (Mail delivery trucks and vehicles, etcetera).
The ingenious concept that informs the entire Fair, the concept of work in action, was adopted also by the Ministry of Post and Telegraph. And so, adjacent to the building, the tower that is used for wireless telegraphs arises. And as the fairgoers can see this modern and very special radiotelegraphic service in action, so can they see the most used telegraphic tools from the old, simple, but nevertheless still functional Morse code, to the modern and most rapid Hugh and Baudot systems.
The Festival Pavilion and the Exhibition of Music
Another amongst the vastest buildings of the Fair is that which comprises the Festival Pavilion and the Music Pavilion, which are connected to one another, and the big galleries that from these Pavilions extend across an area of over 20,000 square meters. They host the Displays of Electricity, the Display of the Marvels of Electricity, of Professional Teaching, and the Swiss Exhibition.
The facades of both buildings are admirable for their proportion, the richness of architectural detail and – at the same time – for the imposing nobility and prettiness.
The two facades are on the same side and are connected to each other.
The faade of the Festival Pavilion is necessarily more sumptuous. On the sides of the grand portal, surmounted by rich, pictorial and architectural decorations are two small risalits in the shape of turrets, supporting sculpted groups of three figures each. Amongst these two groups are the vibrant quadrigas, designed by the sculptors Biscarra e Bianconi.
Inside, beyond the vestibule, the grand Concert Hall appears in the form of an amphitheatre, 33 metres in diameter, with a stage for performances and some competitions, with ascending seating and a royal box. All the decorations are by the painter Smeriglio – like a good part of the decorations of the other buildings.
Big columns arranged around the hall hold the large dome dominated by the colonnaded skylight and its pinnacle, all reaching a height of 56 meters.
The lintel that surrounds the dome has a frieze representing human figures (2,50 meters high) – valuable and very successful works by sculptor Giacomo Buzzi-Reschini.
Around the grand concert hall a vast transition gallery leads to the Galleries of Music and Electricity and via an internal stairway to the upper floor.
The facade of the Pavilion of Music is lower, but not less charming in its simplicity and light decorations. This facade has a colonnade and an artistic oval balcony held up by four columns. At the corners there are four huge fountains with the statue of Neptune (5 meters high) made by sculptor Cellini.
At the attic level there is a group of three statues symbolizing music, made by sculptor Monti.
IN THE GALLERIES
Beyond the Hall of Honor of the Music Pavilion and the grand Concert Hall and the Festival Pavilion, there are the spacious and solemn galleries hosting the displays already mentioned.
While the two-abovementioned buildings were constructed by the Quadri and Colombo Co., the galleries are the work of the Society of the Savigliano Workshops. The structure, entirely in iron, is covered by pretty ornamentation in wood and stucco and the overall appearance, in its simplicity, gives us an impression of agility and strength at the same time.
The Musical Display occupies an are of 4,000 square meters and it very interesting both because of its large variety and for the richness of the things displayed: wind instruments, string instruments, keyboards, percussion; most elegant pianos, resonant harmoniums, charming pianolas and great, majestic church organs. Finally, bells, acoustic horns, et cetera.
In the same gallery, one also finds the entire varied display of theatrical things: mechanisms and furniture, set design and choreography, costumes, backdrops, projectors, et cetera.
But even more varied is the display that occupies an area of 20,000 square meters in the Gallery of Electricity. This is on two floors. As was said, in one of its sections, on the lower floor is the Swiss Exhibition. In another section of the same gallery is an exhibition that draws the attention not only of experts but of the entire visiting crowd, and is the Exhibition of the Marvels of Electricity. This was conceived by professor Riccardo Arn and is the major point of interest in the entire Gallery. This exhibit illustrates with the most brilliant and fundamental experiments the various application of electricity, telegraphy and wireless telephony, transmission of photography over distance, magnetic telephone, loudspeaker telephone. It also shows the then: large-scale display of the rotary magnetic field Ferraris, illumination with fluorescent light, reproduction of all the relative applications of x-rays, large-scale reproduction of the rotary field Arn, et cetera, et cetera.
The Display of Electricity properly said, is both complex and enormous, since it goes from the mechanic generation and the distribution of electric energy to its use in all its forms. This exhibit goes from the display of all the devices pertaining to electricity (all the telegraphic and telephonic systems, wireless telegraphy and telephony, batteries, and rechargeable batteries, electric ovens, instruments and devices for measuring, et cetera) to the display of the most delicate devices for scientific and experimental research.
On the top floor of this gallery there is instead the interesting Exhibit of Professional Labor, which alone occupies an area of 8,000 square meters and in which all the professional schools, dependent on the Ministry of Agricultural Industry and Commerce are hosting displays.
The Exhibition of Work in Action (Machinery Hall)
Like the previously described galleries, this gallery was designed by the architects of the Fair, and constructed by Quadri and Colombo Co. and the Society of Workshops of Savigliano. The sturdy structure is in iron and its covering is in wood and stucco.
The gallery is 245 meters long, 80 meters wide and occupies an area of 16,800 square meters. The Exhibit is of an international nature since in it all the foreign countries display their machines in action, notably France, Germany, England and Belgium. Each particular description of this display is unnecessary and more so considering all that it contains. The visitor would raise his eyes from this book. Too many things in this exhibition speak to him directly in a language more sophisticated, elegant and vibrant.
The innumerable machines, powerful and agile, flaming and thunderous, seem to have a spirit of their own, so much that they seem like powerful and intelligent collaborators of man, while instead they are his marvellous creation and docile slaves.
The Pavilion of the Newspaper
Like all the buildings of the first big fair of Turin (1884), only the marvellous mediaeval village, with its Castle, remained. Like them, only the Pavilion of the Newspaper will be the only construction that will not be touched in November by the demolishing pickaxe.
The Exhibition of the Newspaper is certainly the newest thing that the Exhibition counts, and is amongst the most interesting.
Until now, nobody attempted to present the public with the very original idea of displaying the making of that all-powerful tool of modern civilization that is the newspaper. All the most curious visitors of the Exposition converge to the Pavilion of the Newspaper. Here, fairgoers can observe the various steps in the making of a newspaper: the production of paper, the casting of type metal, typesetting, an do on, until the folding of the completed newspaper.
The building of the Pavilion of the Newspaper is two-storey high and occupies an area of 6000 square meters. Its faade is 105 meters long and its structure is made of reinforced concrete and covered in plaster. It was built by Porcheddu Co.
The Pavilion of the Newspaper has a magnificent central hall 23 meters high and occupying a surface of 22 by 80 square meters. This hall is covered by a superb dome and is surrounded by an external portico. Over this portico are spacious galleries of noble and grandiose aspect.
In this pavilion there are not only all the exhibits connected to the art of the printing press and all the related industries (lithography, production of inks, incision, photomechanical processes, graphic machines, bookbinding, et cetera). There are also exhibits devoted to famous journalists and the retrospective exhibits of the art of caricature (which was a huge force during the eventful period of Italian Independence) and the Exhibitions of the Calendar and Illustrated Postcards. The Exhibition that takes place in the Pavilion of the Newspaper is of an international nature. Almost all the foreign nations and first and foremost France, Germany and England participate prominently.
Finally, on the upper level there is a very interesting exhibit of jewellery and goldsmith art that occupies an area of 2850 square meters.
The Pavilion of England
Built on the square behind the monumental fountains, which still remind us of the eventful Fair of 1898, it occupies a total area of 20,000 square meters, of which 8,200 are constituted by the frontal pavilion, forming the principal faade shaped like an amphitheatre that beautifully integrates with the big fountain which is in front of it. The other 12,000 square meters are occupied by the galleries in iron, which border on the grand Machinery Hall, so that from this (the Machinery Hall) one can access English Exhibition.
The entire building, which was planed by the Engineers Molli, Fenoglio and Salvadori (Quadri and Colmbo Co.), does not stray from the general style of the Fair, all the while maintaining a certain liberty of lines.
The Pavilion of England is elevated in the middle part, on two floors, which are framed by a pediment on which the English coat of arms is displayed. The central pattern is bordered and framed by two spires surmounted by the royal crown. Further back, the dome of the principal hall rises to complete the shape of the building, a good 40 meters high from the ground.
To the right and left of the main body of the building, extends a portico supported by double columns, and covered by a balcony, which ends at the extremities with two little circular temples surmounted by two smaller domes, in the same design of the dome of the principal hall.
The English Pavilion is an ideal position. It dominates the river Po and, above faces the beautiful, green and harmonious slopes of the Turinese hills.
The immense area which the great nation of Britain occupies with its magnificent building and the space it owns in all the other international galleries (namely those of the Work in Action, Electricity, Transport, Aviation and the Newspaper) are sufficient to demonstrate the material importance of the British Exhibition.
The heart of any Italian who does not forget the sympathy with which England followed the entire epic of our Risorgimento can eloquently express the deep moral and political meaning of the participation of strong England to this Fair, with which Italy celebrates the 50th anniversary of her constitution as an independent nation.
It was designed by architect Orsino Bongi, and occupies an area of about 800 square meters. It was built by P. Cittera Co. and is composed of a spacious vestibule in a circular layout (surmounted by a slender and elegant cupola) from which one enters to the left the rooms dedicated to the Exhibition of Salts and Quinine and to the right the big hall of machines in action for the manufacture of tobacco. In front of the pavilion is a small experimental field for the cultivation of tobacco. In the room of the Exhibition of Salts is a big demonstrative model a salt mill in action, which serves to illustrate the process of salt extraction from seawater.
Another pavilion that strays completely away from the general tone of the buildings is that which houses the Turkish Exhibition.
It is in the Oriental-Moorish style. It has charming windows, with Tudor arches and the polychrome decoration of the walls creates a most original effect.
The Castle and the Mediaeval Village and the Typographical Workshop from 1400
We already described how and when and by the work of whom this suggestive evocation of a by-gone era was built.
In a synthetic group of buildings, the types of construction and decoration, the furniture and the typical ancient traditions of the Val dAosta region are collected here.
One can enter the village either by boat, from the river; or over land, passing over a drawbridge and through a door built into a square tower, which was faithfully copied from that Oglianico. The paintings that the adorn the outside were taken from the Castle of Magr and from the coat of arms of the San Martino family.
Inside of the village there is the perfect illusion of reliving the Middle Ages. The small irregular square, the fountain, the blacksmith, the modest little cottages, the fresco paintings on the walls and the reproduction of costumes and the popular taste of the era inspire an evocative aura of Mediaeval times in contrast to modernity, which violently affirms itself, a few steps a head, outside of those paths and worn out porticos.
The Castle, which dominates the little village, is majestic and severe. It is a true feudal residence with its imposing walls. One imagines hearing the echo of the Barons spurs or feeling the shadow of a sweet Yolanda passing through the room in which everything smells of war and poetry at the same time. Narrow loopholes, robust gratings, tall gates and stain-glass windows, sayings and lines written on the walls between figures of soldiers, philosophers and poets – the big missals and chivalrous literature books open on the tall sculpted wooden lecterns.
On the ground floor of the Castle is the refectory, the kitchens, the quarters of the guards and of the servants. The kitchen is copied from that one of the Castle of Issogne. The dining room of the castle has a magnificent panelled ceiling with beautiful paintings reproducing coats of arms, plants, animals and heads of men and women.
And all of it, from the paintings to the furniture, to the silverware, is a faithful reproduction made on existing models in the various castles of the Aosta Valley or the Alto Canavese.
On the first floor, there are the guardians cottage, the Barons antechamber, the room of justice, with its very luxurious throne, protected by the baldachin in golden brocade, the bedroom, the oratory, the chapel, et cetera.
Finally, in the cellars are the terrible and dark dungeons.
In the village, and precisely in the houses called of Alba and Bussoleno, this year the Retrospective Exhibition of Art of the Press is taking place, with the exact reproduction of a typography workshop from the 1400s. Workers in period costume carry out the work of the printing press just as it was carried out as in the Middle Ages, together with all those other works that pertain to this art, such as the manufacture of the paper with tubs and sieves, the press, and the selling of the volume in the workshop of the bibliopola (bookseller).
One should not believe that the typographic work that these workers complete under the gaze of visitors is an empty exercise and made almost just for fun. They – chosen amongst the best students of the art in which Manuzio and Bodoi became famous – take care of the reproduction of many rare incunabula, including the first edition of the Divine Comedy made in Foligno in 1472, which they enrich with the best illustrative tables chosen from other editions of the period. This is, in short, a very engaging exhibit for the crowd and very interesting for intellectuals.
The Russian Pavilion
Just beyond the Mediaeval Village is the Russian Pavilion. It is a massive construction in the majestic impressiveness of the severe columns of the antique Doric style, supporting the domed door.
The ample faade, in the middle of which is the imperial eagle displayed up high, disguises the galleries behind, of which the main one has a half-oval shape.
The entrance of the building is towards the Po and is formed by big steps with scamilli formed by two lions. On the sides of the entrance are beautiful groups of statues.
BEYOND THE ISABELLA BRIDGE
Beyond the underpass of Dante Avenue, on the farthest edge that the Fair occupies on the left bank of the Po, in big galleries having a frontal line of about 400 meters, are the Exhibitions of Public Works (4,300 square meters), Heavy Metallurgy (7,400 square meters), Railway Material, and the Province of Turin.
And here is the Popular Restaurant, a large construction on one floor above ground, occupying an area of 1,500 square meters and a seating capacity of over one thousand people. The Cooperative Federation manages this restaurant.
The Exhibition of Public Works includes everything that is connected to the development of the construction of new cement and iron and steel materials, and of all the modern tools and the latest technological advances that triumph over the difficult topographic, geognostic, and idrographic challenges of the terrain. Here are exhibited prototypes, tests, and results of the experiments of hydraulic conglomerations: lime, cements, pozzolane (sandy volcanic rocks) and plasters; there are natural and artificial stones; bricks and substitutes; covering materials; timber, metals, et cetera. Then there are displays of building processes, of the machinery and tools used by builders for undertaking excavations and foundations; of regular roads and railways, canals and bridges, and of the machines and the systems used for their maintenance. In short, models, plans and designs for public works of every kind.
The Exhibition of Heavy Metallurgy presents all the big works of forging: mast shafts, gear wheels, metal scaffolding, propellers, stainless steel masts for ships, metal brackets, as well as all the machinery essential for this production: namely, powerful hammers, hydraulic presses, et cetera.
The Exhibition of the Province of Turin is interesting, as well as the Exhibition of City of Turin, which is incorporated into the latter. Here all the services of the province are presented: mental asylums, hospices for abandoned infants, et cetera and all the services pertaining to the road conditions, forests, et cetera. One part of the latter also has a section in the Exhibition of Roads.
The Railways Exhibition is international; in it, France, Germany, England and Belgium occupy 100 of track each, and it is particularly noteworthy in these moments in which the railway has such a high social importance. The Railways Exhibition presents not only the movable material (engines, vehicles, et cetera) but also everything that refers to the incredibly organization of the railways: stations, repair centres, residences, tools of operation and all the examples of technology, economy, insurance, assistance, and railways information.
ON THE RIGHT BANK
The Pavilion of Argentina
The Americas could not respond with greater impulse, nor in a more majestic way, to the invitation extended to the entire world from Italy for this celebration of work. The Republic of Argentina, the entire of Latin America, Brazil and the United States, wave their glorious standards along the right bank of the Po.
Leaving from the Umberto I Bridge, the Pavilion of Argentina presents itself first, in all its majestic impressiveness.
It is composed of central body with two large lateral halls. From the corners of the central wing, of a square layout, four turrets, in the form of pinnacles, rise with colored balls above them. On the four corners of the pavilion, there are as many risalits with arched windows and skylights. The central attic is artistically decorated by groups of statues and its 23 meters high from the ground, while the turrets reach a maximum height of 35 meters.
Internally the buildings is supported by columns that divide it into three main rooms, of which, the central one is enclosed by a wide vaulted ceiling in the shape of a cross 23 meters high. Above are a few columned loggias, which end into two large side rooms. The pediments are decorated by allegorical statues, the base of the building by high reliefs, one representing the landscape of the Argentine countryside, the other the harbor of Buenos Aires, with the panorama of the city.
The entrance to the pavilion extends forward in the shape of a semi-elliptical colonnade, and in its top section takes the shape of a large shell. As a whole, the entrance has a truly imposing appearance that matches marvellously with the majesty of the entire building, which one can also access from the Po by a big staircase, artistically embellished with statues. The pronaos (vestibule) is decorated by majestic prancing horses mounted by two genies in the symbolic act of illuminating the path of progress. The talented sculptor Giacomo Buzzi-Reschini made these horses.
The designer of the Argentinean Pavilion is the architect Rolando Le Wacher – and the construction manager was Mr Gioia.
The Pavilion of Latin American
In modern style, demure, proper, simple in its lines, and matching the general architectures with its series of domes and little cupolas, here is, on two floors, next to the Argentinean Pavilion, the Pavilion of Latin America.
Based on the designs of the architected Orsino Bonci, it covers an area of 6,000 square meters. The big pavilion is divided into lots of rooms to host the exhibitions of the many republics. Of these rooms, the largest area is occupied by Uruguay (the main hall and two large rooms on the left and one of the right), next come Peru and Venezuela, Equator, Chile, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Bolivia and Cuba.
All the architectural and sculptural decoration of the building is impressive and truly artistic. Large square pilasters rise up to the ceiling. The windows the central and lateral wings have friezes, frames and garlands. The door is covered with the tympanum, with large glass windows above and on the sides and decorative statues at the base and top.
The central dome, decorated with beautiful oval windows, holds a symbolic globe. The square is, like all the others of the right bank, roughly organized around a flowerbed.
The usual materials of construction – the manager, Mr Paolo Cittera.
The Pavilion of Brazil
Truly important is also the Exhibition of Brazil. It occupies a covered area of 8,000 square meters, with a frontal length of 150 meters.
The large building is composed of various domed wings connected by terraces. The principal pavilion is on two floors and is, internally, rich with magnificent decorations.
The general style is, overall, varied and elegant. The style approaches the modern, but in many details in blends very well with general style of the buildings of the Italian Fair. Groups of statues at the corners, both high and low; large masks hold up the poles of the flags, elegant staircases leading to the mezzanine, altogether give it an almost luxurious appearance.
The project was undertaken by the engineers Moaes Rego and Jayme Figueira and by the designer Julio Antonio de Lima.
The works were completed by the Pasqualine and Vienna Co.
The Belgian Pavilion
The Belgian Pavilion occupies an area of 9,000 square meters. On the faade there are two porticoed lateral wings, with large glass windows and a taller, central one, enclosed by two lintels witha tympanum. On the sides there are to small pinnacles. In the middle, the Belgian coat of arms bears the motto of that industrious nation: Lunion fait la force.
The exhibition is composed in its entirety of two big galleries, with exposed wooden beams; these two room access the other lower galleries through the three large archways, supported by columns.
Between one arch and the other, above the columns, there are the ornamental busts and rich friezes in stucco and painting; in the big galleries, where the ceiling beams connect, there is a supporting mantle with a vase.
On the front of the pavilion, whose style, without straying too much from the overall tone of the Fair, has nevertheless hints of Flemish architecture, there are big steps with gardens and squares. A series of artistic steps leads to the elevated road on the Po. (Managing contractor: Fornaroli).
The French Pavilion
The big square, which the Monumental Bridge crowns, and from which the majestic steps leading to the Castle of the Waters begin, is already on its own one of the most wonderful things of the Fair. The names of the three engineers who gave Turin the biggest of its Fairs, deserve to already be remembered with admiration for this areas overall beauty and harmony,
Imagine: to the north of the bridge, the sumptuous French Pavilion, matching the 18th century style common to all of the Fairs buildings, but nevertheless hinting, in many notable details, to the most special architectural character of France. To the south, the very impressive German Pavilion. In the middle, on the magnificent green slope of the hill, the charming Monumental Fountain!
The French Pavilion – built by Quadri and Colombo Co. – is on two floors. The main forward wing, placed at in the middle of the facade of the building is connected to the forward lateral wings by two colonnaded recessed wings. The central part of the building includes a large hall, covered by a daring dome, measuring – at the peak of its cusp – a height of 50 meters from the ground, while all the risalits are a good 14 meters high.
The different galleries, which constitute the exhibition, begin in the main central hall.
The main faade of the building is 193 meters long. Between it and the bank of the Po, flowerbeds, richly decorated with large vases with harmonious balustrades, give the place an atmosphere of poetic and sumptuous elegance. This is a welcoming meeting place for visitors, also for the panorama of the opposite bank of the Po that one enjoys from this spot.
The entire area taken up by the French Pavilion is 13,990 square meters, and the figure is already very impressive. But this space was not enough for our sister nation to give a worthy demonstration of her activity in each type of industry and of her magnificent industrious energy.
For this reason, France had her flag waving in many other special pavilions on the right and left banks of the Po.
In fact, on the opposite bank, there is the Exhibition of the French Colonies and the exhibit of the City of Marseilles. The Exhibition of the City of Paris is especially interesting for its retrospective suggestions. Furthermore, there is the kiosk of Met et Chandon without even counting the different galleries in which the French Exhibits occupy a total area of 40,000 square meters.
Almost to give our mind a rest (we are a bit tired from the thousand beautiful things that we have admired and studied in the galleries of the Exhibition that we have already visited), and before entering the impressive German Pavilion, we pause in front of the Castle of the Waters to give it a general view before ascending its stairs.
An imposing series of steps, which start from the grand square of the Bridge, lead us to three magnificent overpasses. Two of these overpasses are side by side, and covered by colonnaded porticoes, and one is uncovered. Crossing Moncalieri road, we arrive directly to a new set of stairs. The imaginative construction is faced by two towers, 80 meters tall. In its centre, there is an impressive statue, placed in a big niche, and symbolizing the homeland, executed as a real-scale model by Contratti.
Sideways from this statue, above and below, other statues surround the three main fountains, from which the water flows down with an impressive cascade, almost as wide as the front of the Castle, namely 40 meters.
The statues of pediment represent: Lady Constance, Lady Justice, Lady Wisdom, and Lady Temperance and are by the sculptor Chiariglione.
The statues on the sides of the statue of the homeland are by the sculptor Cellini.
Finally, on the right and left, between the towers and the big wall in the background are artistic niches with ornamental bases.
This imaginative monumental fountain is majestically framed by the sweet hill, with the green foliage of its trees, and the green bloom of the sweet sloping meadows!
Like all the other buildings of the Fair, the Castle of the Waters was designed by architects Fenoglio, Molli and Salvadori. – Quadri and Colombo Co. undertook the construction.
The German Pavilion
In the last few years it has been often repeated that the German industry is tired of fairs: but in front of the faithful and capable Italian trading partners, this tiredness has changed itself into a happy faith, in fervent activity.
With these enthusiastic words ends an important study on the trade relations between Italy and German, said Mr Giovanni Breiter, advisor of the Legation and Consul of Germany in Milan. In this study, the figures, which are not deceptive, say in no uncertain terms how important is the trade relationships between us and our kind ally.
Just a few words are needed to briefly convey the idea: Italy, in 1909, from a total export worth 1887.8 million, sent to Germany 300.9 million worth of goods and Germany spent 490.7 million on Italian imports, totalling 3097 million liras.
One understands from those figures how Germany could only be represented at our Fair in the majestic way in which it wanted and was able to participate. The area occupied by its pavilion is a good 9000 square meters, with a faade towards the Po 270 meters long. But the German Section occupies a total area of over 40,000 square meters, since its exhibition is not only here (in the pavilion) but also in the gallery of the Machines in Action, that of Transports, Aviation, Electricity and the Pavilion of the Newspaper.
The main entrance to the impressive pavilion is – like that of France, to which it is compared – right on the grand plaza of the Monumental Bridge.
From the portico that forms its faade, one has access to an atrium, which continues on to a principal hall and adjoining rooms. After this, one enters the first part of the galleries, comprised of four large rectangular rooms, two on each side of the central, square room. This room is covered by a large dome with the Imperial German Crown at the top. The dome is 42 meter high from the river banks and 47.5 meters from the elevated road that skirts the river.
A majestic risalit three stories high corresponds to this grand central room. To the right and left of the risalit, two wings are derived, with pediments and cupolas corresponding to another two rectangular rooms on each side of the grand central room.
Externally, in these wings, are two wide double staircases, which, from the floor below, lead to the main floor. From the main floor, one can go down to the lower floor via two interior staircases.
The main part of the impressive pavilion is limited on the extremities by due risalits in three stylistic orders – to the left and right appear the facades that correspond to the atrium and the annexes of the principal hall, as well as the large gallery in the shape of three naves.
The building is constructed in wood, matting and plaster by Quadri and Colombo Co., on the designs of the three engineer-architects of the Fair. The pavilion keeps with the general style, with one or two light variants that do not, however, disturb the harmony of the overall atmosphere. This Pavilion is one of the most magnificent buildings of the Fair.
The Pavilion of the United States of America
Over an area of 5,000 square meters and having a most vast façade overlooking the Po, the Pavilion of the United States of America rises majestically, even with the calm sobriety of its shape. This pavilion emulates the general architectural style of the rest of the Exposition and has a big terrace with beautiful steps that descend all the way down to the river.
The main part of the building is marked by a magnificent door. Its tympanum has lateral alcoves. On the sides of the door there are four statues. On the sides of the main building there are four other wings (two on each side) connected with the central building and among themselves by a colonnaded portico. Beautiful statues decorate the attic.
The Exhibition of the United States integrates those of Argentina, Latin America and Brazil in giving us a full display of each human activity in everything that has to do with industry, work and social progress in the entire American continent.
The Siamese Pavilion
The Siamese pavilion digresses completely from the general architecture of the Fair, keeping thus a markedly exotic sense. This project was studied in Bangkok, in the offices of the Public Works Department by the architects Annibale Rigotti and Mario Tamagno.
It is from the same architecture of the Siamese churches (Watt) with large, polychrome roofs, in the so-called binocular style and with the golden dome (phrachady). It occupies an area of 800 square meters. It has a total length of 65 meters and a height – from the top of the tallest pole – of 45 meters.
The pavilion is composed of three-closed room and three open galleries.
The beautiful stucco decorations are by the sculptor Musso, and the frescoes by the Unione Decoratori. Noteworthy are the paintings by artist Cesare Ferro.
The building of the Pavilion was undertaken by Mr Previgliano.
The Exhibition of Siam draws the attention of all the visitors in a special way since it brings us the echo of the life and civilization of mysterious and evocative regions of the Orient.
The Serbian Pavilion
The interesting pavilion is in the Serbian-Byzantine style and was constructed on the designs of the engineer Professor Tanaseric of the University of Belgrade. The plan is arranged around a single nave. The faade of the building is designed around elongated arches, shaped by arabesque friezes, painted and in stucco. These arches are horizontally crossed by alternating polychrome strips. Five little cupolas, tinted greenish, of which the central one is the tallest and most slender, decorate the building – original and charming in its distinctly exotic air.
In front is an elegant terrace from which one can enjoy the magnificent panorama.
Here we arrive, finally, to that impressive series of constructions that form the immense group of different exhibits collected in the cheerful area of Borgo Pilonetto.
This group of buildings occupies a covered area of 65,000 square meters. The buildings are interspersed by charming inner courtyards. In the middle, there is a 9000 meter-wide plaza graced by groups of trees and flowerbeds.
In the first section there are: The Exhibit of the Italians Abroad and of the Mining Industries on the left; the Exhibition of the Manufacturing Industries with the interesting Silk Exhibit and the Exhibit of Japan on the left and the Agriculture Exhibition and the exhibition of Agricultural Machinery at the end.
In the second section: the War Exhibit with the adjoining Experimental Field; the Exhibit of the Red Cross that displays an entire rescue train; the Road Exhibit, the Automobile Exhbit, the Cycling Exhibit and that of Aeronautics, and of all the other sports.
Special mention needs to be made for the International Road Exhibit, promoted and organized by the Italian Touring Club. This exhibit is of great importance for the latest developments of road transportation.
Here, all the most varied materials used to pave roads are displayed: stones, wood, asphalt, etc., both as sample materials and actual displays of paving techniques. Then there is all the complex road machinery: machines for the preparation of the materials such as pneumatic hammers, air compressors, crushers, et cetera. There are machines for the construction and upkeep of roads: steam compressors, mechanic pickaxes, tar-spraying machines, machines to remove mud, sprinklers, cleaners, et cetera. Finally, there is all that relates to road use and traffic, road cartography and road aesthetics.
One of the most interesting sections of the Exhibit is the display of materials that participate in the competition devoted to road machinery and sponsored by the Province of Turin and of that of roadbeds materials sponsored by the Italian Touring Club.
One can reach the exhibits of the Pilonetto by crossing the Amusement Park on the right bank of the river Po and also by crossing the temporary bridge that connects the two river banks in this remote corner of the Exposition. This area of the Exposition starts from the Exhibit of Railroad Materials and ends at the Court of Honour in front of the Pavilion of the Italian Abroad and the Pavilion of the Manufacturing Industries. The courtyard is formed by the facades of these Pavilions, which are decorated with six minarets and a grand central dome 36-meter high and colonnades that connect the various wings of the buildings. This artistic group of buildings stands out harmoniously against the grand panorama of the hills behind them.
Through the colonnades, you can see graceful courtyards all decorated with lovely flowerbeds and plants. One of them is larger (225 meters in length and 40 meters in width). In the centre there is the grand portal of the Pavilion of the Manufacturing Industries. On the more distant side there is a third facade: that of the Pavilion of the Agricultural Industries.
The entrance to this courtyard is formed by a colonnaded portico (570 meters on length) creatively decorated with jutting structures bearing the emblems of all the Italian provinces (all the buildings in the Pilonetto were built by Pasqualin & Vienna Co).
And here the Exposition ends, with a group of exhibit that are extremely important not only for their size but also for their scientific, industrial social, and moral meaning.
STADIUM E DIVERTIMENTI
Ultimo per data di costruzione ma certamente uno dei principali edifizi torinesi per grandiosità, è lo Stadium testé inaugurato. Debbo proprio dire ai centomila soci del Touring Club che cosa fossero i Giuochi Olimpici dei Greci e perché così si chiamassero? Non credo!
Tutti sanno che i giochi olimpici - che si celebravano in onore di Giove - presero un tal nome dalla pianura di Olimpia, nell'Ellade, ove essi avevano luogo; e tutti sanno altresì che essi sono di origine antichissima, non solo, ma che risalgono addirittura al periodo leggendario. Però nell'anno 776 a.C. essi furono riordinati. Si stabilì, cioè, di celebrarli allo spirare di ogni quadriennio; l'intervallo fra le varie ricorrenze fu chiamata Olimpiade e servì come base - da allora in poi - alla cronologia greca. Nei loro primordi, queste gare consistevano solo nella corsa veloce. Più tardi vi si aggiunse la corsa di resistenza e poi, via via, la lotta, il pugilato, il salto, il lancio del disco e del giavellotto. Tutti questi esercizi venivano eseguiti in un campo costruito appositamente in Olimpia, campo che fu denominato stadium.
Lasciando ora la facile erudizione - e venendo a parlare dei nostri giorni, noterò che malgrado il magnifico attuale rifiorire di tutte le manifestazioni sportive, e per quanto lo sport attragga verso di sé tutte le molteplici correnti dello sporito moderno, e malgrado il rinnovarsi ed il molteplicarsi delle riunioni sportive di ogni genere, tuttavia non vi erano in Europa che due stadi: quello di Atene, ricostrutto su lo stadium stesso che vide le epiche gare dell'illustra ed antica città, - e lo stadio di Londra, una costruzione povera di ornamenti, ispirata ad un criterio di pura speculazione ed ormai destinato ad essere demolito.
Si comprende quindi come l'idea - promossa dal deputato Carlo Compans di Brichanteau - di costruire a Torino un campo stabile, meraviglioso non solo per ampiezza ma altresì per bellezza architettonica e nel quale ogni diversa manifestazione sportiva potesse esplicarsi al cospetto di tutta una folla comodamente ospitata; sia stata tosto seguita dalla simpatia generale e dall'unanime consenso e sia stata - con fulminea rapidità moderna e per solo impulso di private iniziative - tradotta subito in realtà.
Torino ha ora il suo stadium. Esso è più grande di quelli di Atene e di Londra; e sorge in un luogo ideale, e cioé dov'era la vecchia Piazza d'Armi, il che è quanto dire in piena città nuova, e precisamente nell'area compresa fra i corsi Vinzaglio, Peschiera, Castelfidardo e Montevecchio - ed è capace normalmente di 40.000 persone, tutte sedute, di cui una metà in posti numerati, mentre altre 30.000 possono trovar posto ancora in esso in circostanze eccezionali. Nell'arena possono agire circa 50.000 attori!
È in stile greco-romano ed è costrutto in cemento armato dalla ditta Ing.Porcheddu e C.ia ed ha decorazioni esterne in pietra artificiale. La concezione architettonica generale è dovuta all'architetto Ballatore di Rosana e all'ingegnere Gonnella.
Lo stadium ha tre ordini di piste. L'una, più ampia, per le gare ciclistiche (m 730,90); l'altra - in forma di 8 - per le corse dei cavalli (metri 782); la terza per le corse podistiche (metri 500). Di più, grazie alla sua calcolata ed armonica organizzazione permette ancora altre gare: di nuoto, di lotta, di lancio di dischi, di tiro a segno con arco e balestre, di law-tennis, di football mentre i locali sottostanti alle gradinate servono come gallerie per mostre sportive, per biffet, per spogliatoi, per dormitori destinati ai concorrenti, oltre alle sale destinate allo skating, agli esercizi di scherma ed alle sezioni completamente separate destinate alla ginnastica femminile, rispondente a tutte le più moderne esigenze.
Lo stadium ha il suo ingresso d'onore sul corso Vinzaglio. I bellissimi gruppi scolturali che si elevano sui due piloni del Palco Reale sono opera encomiabile di G.B.Alloati.
Concorsi, gare e Mostre temporanee che avranno luogo nello "Stadium"...
Lo Stadium non poteva non essere come l'alleato dell'Esposizione, l'ausilio suo per lo svolgimento del complesso programma sportivo che è tanta parte delle attrattive e dei festeggiamenti della Mostra torinese. E precisamente nello stadium vi sarà dunque in:
APRILE. - (giorno 30) il Concorso ginnico - concorso che proseguirà poi nei giorni 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21 del mese di maggio. In:
MAGGIO ancora, e nei giorni 28, 29, 30 vi sarà il Concorso Ippico il quale continuerà poi nei giorni 1,4 - e forse oltre - del mese di giugno. In:
GIUGNO, nella seconda quindicina, vi sarà la Mostra Zootecnica (bovini, ovini, ecc.). In:
LUGLIO vi saranno, ogni domenica, le Gare di palloni sferici, le quali continueranno in:
AGOSTO (ancora tutte le domeniche): poi, nella seconda metà del mese, a cominciare dal giorno 17, vi sarà il Concorso di Pompieri. In:
SETTEMBRE, continueranno le gare di palloni sferici, fino al 10, giorno in cui vi sarà una grande gara di distanza. Pure in settembre vi sarà una Mostra temporanea di equini.
Concorsi e Mostre temporanee che avranno luogo nell'interno dell'Esposizione
MAGGIO: Mostra primaverile di orticoltura e di floricoltura (dal 15 al 26).
GIUGNO: Mostra di avicoltura e conigli (dal 4 al 17). Mostra cani (dal 3 al 6).
AGOSTO: Mostra materiale da incendi (seconda quindicina) - Internazionale di musica - internazionale professionale di telgrafia pratica.
SETTEMBRE: Internazionale di cinematografia con 50.000 lire di premi.- Mostra estiva di semicoltura e floricoltura (dal 16 al 24).
OTTOBRE: Mostra autunnale di orticultura e floricultura (dal 25 ottobre al 4 novembre).
I GRANDI FESTEGGIAMENTI
Ben inteso però nello stadio non possono essere accolte tutte le manifestazioni sportive ed artistiche che - ideate con criteri razionali e geniali - sono come il complemento della grandiosa Esposizione.
Talune di queste avranno luogo nella loro sede naturale e propria. Al Campo di Mirafiori le corse al galoppo (7, 10, 14, 21, 25, 28 maggio e 17, 20, 24 settembre);
Sul Po le Regole Internazionali (29 e 30 giugno) e quelle nazionali (1 ottobre);
Nel campo della società di Tiro a Segno le Gare di Tiro (dal 14 al 24 settembre);
In un campo apposito, attiguo a quello di Mirafiori, le partenze e gli arrivi per il Raid di aviazione Torino-Roma-Torino, per le Gare di aviazione che avranno luogo in giugno e per le Gare di dirigibili che vi saranno in giugno, luglio, agosto e settembre.
In luogo da destinarsi, le partenze (o gli arrivi) per le Corse di automobili al Moncenisio (9 luglio) e la Corsa ciclistica Roma-Torino (prima decade di settembre):
Nell'interno dell'Esposizione avranno luogo invece le Gare di scherma (giorni da fissarsi); in MAGGIO e in OTTOBRE: il Concorso internazionale di telegrafia pratica (22 agosto e giorni seguenti): i Concorsi musicali (12, 13, 14 e 15 agosto) e i grandi Concerti Orchestrali - nel meraviglioso Salone del Palazzo delle Feste - i quali avranno luogo due volte alla settimana durante tutto il periodo dell'Esposizione e che assumeranno poi in settembre un'importanza eccezionalissima, poiché vi parteciperanno i più grandi maestri d'Europa e saranno diretti da Toscanini.
I DIVERTIMENTI DELL'ESPOSIZIONE
Oltre il Ponte Isabella, nel grazioso parco appositamente costrutto, che si stende sulle due rive del Po ed è riunito da una particolare ferrovia aerea, furono riuniti tutti i divertimenti e tutte le così dette "attrazioni" dell'Esposizione. Esso occupa un'area di circa 15.000 mq.
Vi è una categoria tutta composta di divertimenti meccanici: la Roue joieuse, la Maison misterieuse, il Toboggan, il Waterchute, il Scenic-Railway e tutti gli apparecchi di ultima invenzione dal punto di vista dell'esercizio e del movimento: attrazioni sportive, ecc. Il Tapis Roulant si trova invece, come fu detto, nel tunnel centrale del Ponte Monumentale.
Nella Kermesse - sulla riva destra del Po - presso il Ponte Isabella, si ha poi l'illusione perfetta di fare tutto un gran viaggio nelle diverse parti del mondo orientale. Essa è costituita di cinque quartieri ed in ognuno di essi - costruito su vedute direttamente prese in ogni singola regione che deve riprodurre - vive una razza diversa. I quartieri sono così divisi: 1° quartiere Arabo, Egiziano, Tunisino e Turco; 2° Madagascar, Senegal e Congo; 3° Pelli Rosse; 4° Giappone ed India; 5° Cina ed Indocina.
Inoltre vi è un Harem, una Scuola Mussulmana, una Moschea, degli indovini che dicono la buona ventura e dei fachiri arabi (aissouas). Ancora: danza del ventre, passeggiate cogli asini e coi cammelli, ecc, ecc.
Il prezzo d'ingresso normale è di centesimi 25. Nelle serate centesimi 50. «Ai soci del Touring Club è concesso uno sconto del 20 per cento sul biglietto.»
CALENDARIO DEI CONGRESSI CHE SI TERRANNO A TORINO DURANTE L'ESPOSIZIONE
MESE DI MAGGIO (in giorno da destinarsi): Congresso Nazionale fra Costruttori italiani. IX Congresso fra Industriali e Commercianti.
MESE DI GIUGNO: Dal 27 al 29. - Congresso Nazionale Arti Grafiche. - II° Congresso nazionale dei Segretari ed Impiegati degli Enti locali. 30 - Congresso Internazionale Arti Grafiche.
MESE DI LUGLIO: 1 - Scioglimento Congresso delle Arti Grafiche.
MESE DI AGOSTO: Dal 28 al 30 - Congresso Nazionale forestale. 31 - Società Agricoltori.
MESE DI SETTEMBRE: Dal 1 al 2: Società Agricoltori. Dal 5 al 9: Congresso Magistrale nazionale. Dal 21 al 23: Congresso storico internazionale. Dal 29 al 1 ottobre: Congresso delle organizzazioni patronali dell'industria e dell'agricoltura. (in giorno da destinarsi) Vº Congresso internazionale di Apicoltura (primi giorni). IIº Congresso nazionale di Chimica applicata. Congresso internazionale della Società per le cremazione (seconda metà). Iº Congresso nazionale di Navigazione (seconda metà).
MESE DI OTTOBRE (in giorno da destinarsi): Iº Congresso internazionale Zoofilo e Umanitario. Dal 1 al 5 Congresso internazionale dei Patologi.
IN EPOCHE DA DESTINARSI:
ARTI GRAFICHE: Secondo Congresso nazionale. Assemblea generale dell'Associazione Tipografica Libraria italiana. FOTOGRAFIA: Congresso fotografico. GEOGRAFIA: Escursione dei membri facenti parte del Xº Congresso internazionale di Geografia. INGEGNERI: Congresso internazionale di Allievi ingegneri. INSEGNANTI: IVº Congresso nazionale degli Insegnanti delle scuole industriali e commerciali. NAVIGAZIONE: Assemblea generale della lega navale. PARRUCCHIERI:Congresso nazionale delle Società mutue e confederate. SALVATAGGIO E SOCCORSO PUBBLICO: XXIIº Congresso internazionale. VITICOLTURA ED ENOLOGIA: Congresso nazionale della Viticoltura, della Enologia e del commercio vinario. ITALIANI ALL'ESTERO: Chiusura del congresso degli italiani all'estero.