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Holidays on Rubber

In the imagination of designers and advertisers, the Cinturato tyre became an icon of travel in the 1950s and 1960s. It was a revolutionary product and it accompanied the Italians on their journey towards mass motorisation, and into a new concept of safe driving that was at last within everyone’s reach. This can be seen in the brilliant advertising campaign called “Un viaggio, ma”, created in 1966 by the visionary Arrigo Castellani, then director of advertising, and by the graphic artist Pino Tovaglia. Castellani’s surreal word games that appear in Tovaglia’s black-and-white geometries also inspired the writer Camilla Cederna in Pirelli magazine. Rubber is an essential ingredient in holidays: Federico Patellani’s photo shoots immortalise a world of bathing caps and inflatable boats, rubber rings for those learning to swim, inflatable mattresses, and coloured balls. And then we find goggles for diving down to the seabed, as worn by movie stars like Ingrid Bergman on the set of Stromboli, directed by Roberto Rossellini. The bathing costumes are in Lastex yarn, the magical elastic fabric that won over the young Marilyn Monroe, Pirelli’s endorser in 1952. And these holiday outings could hardly be without their dinghies and outboard motor boats: the materials they are made of have names that are both technical and exotic, such as “Resivite” and “Kelesite” and they are light, unbreakable, and tough. Produced by Monza, a Pirelli company that called them “Levriero”, “Daino” or “Giaguaro” – greyhound, deer, or jaguar – they became essential kit for tourists on their holiday adventures. Introducing a new idea of travel and of freedom.

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