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16 July1933
The girl and the car
Famiglia Barzizza
Music by Lorenza Ceregini & Mix audio Théophile Gagnard | Biennio di Sound Design del Conservatorio di Musica di Bologna

On 16 July 1933, the Barzizza family is in the village of Casella, a traditional holiday destination in the Genoa hinterland, particularly on Sundays in good weather, just like this one. Little Isa, Pippo's daughter, is almost four years old and with her little white dress and expressive face already shows in front of the camera all the sympathy and extroversion for which she will be known as a successful actress. This time - we have already seen her on several days of the Almanac - she interacts with the 9.5 mm camera, with the fence and with the Barzizza family's car, a splendid Lancia Lambda, whose flaming red colour we can only guess at, since the film is in black and white. 

Considered to be Vincenzo Lancia's great masterpiece and a concentrate of innovation and technology, the Lambda is as old as the first amateur cameras, having been presented at the end of 1922 and marketed from 1923. For the first time a car was without a conventional chassis and it was the body itself that played the load-bearing role of the car, recalling not the usual structure still inherited from horse-drawn carriages but that of a ship. The builder is said to have been inspired for the bodywork by the hulls of the ships with which he often travels to the United States. A hymn to modernity, in short, even though ten years have now passed. Having a car - and a car like that, which is not exactly a hatchback - in the early 1930s is not for everyone. There are about 188,000 cars on Italian roads. With a population of around 41 million, that means there is one car for every 218 inhabitants. An average that suggests just how free the roads are and what kind of air one breathes in the Italy of 1933.