26 January 2016
26 January 2016
The scent of magic spills out of opened drawers. Every single time. It’s like rubbing Aladdin’s lamp, releasing a plume of memory which for too long now has been collecting the dust of the years gone by.
"Archiving is a way to recall great memories of old."
In occasion of the refurbishment of the hotel’s offices, nothing escaped notice. Not even the archives. Together with Artur and Verena, I took it upon myself to look at the hotel’s past. Touch it, if you will, and order it following a rational system using dedicated boxes, all neatly labelled and orderly positioned in their very own room. We collected some of the old postcards, part of them going as far back as the 50s. It was quite a sight to see Corvara painted using old pastel colours, the House jumping out from watercolour cars, the pristine white of the snow and wooden skis. Leafing through the brochures which tell the story of a hotel which is constantly growing, which faced difficult moments and reinvented itself, more welcoming and lively than ever. How emotional! Strange how things change. I look at the old printed material and snap a picture with my phone. There’s no stopping time, as these objects confirm. There are also old negatives, replaced by today’s digital format, rolled up as if time were a celluloid spiral. Let’s not even talk about the slides – some of the younger generations have probably never seen them, let alone heard of them! There are building, refurbishment projects. A true wonder. They are packed with expectations, positive energy, dreams about to come true. Then there’s invoices, branded letterheads, admin papers. Menus, and handwritten menus. My heart beats that little bit faster in seeing how canederli have withstood the ravages of time and to read that a Goulaschsuppe costs 350 liras in the 70s. And the strudel? A good 200 liras per portion. And the pride and joy of the hotel, the Sassicaia bottles? Many of them have been archived themselves, in our spacious cellar! There are guest books, and one name jumps straight off the page, more than those of famous models, Hollywood actors and actresses, writers and various artists: that of Sandro Pertini. Archiving is a strange exercise, cataloguing, selecting. It’s difficult to get rid of what is now useless paper. They are still small fragments which had their meaning, even for the briefest of moments. The real danger, when browsing through boxes, containers is to be sucked down into a vortex made of memories. Even those you haven’t lived in will anchor you to a parallel world. And so, I look outside the window, as if to take a deep breath. And seeing houses, trees, roads, the lift, reassures me. I know, life is but a big colourful tapestry. And the life of this Hotel is beautiful.