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25 August1949
Villa Sorriso
Angelo Selleri
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

At the Albergo Villa Sorriso in Senigallia on 25 August 1949, cheerfulness is evident at the open-air lunch organised for the convention of the Italian Veterinary Society. Women and men present celebrate the success of the convention. There is Albino Messieri, the president of the society, whom the anonymous cameraman frames in the centre, between his young daughter Adele (future wife of Angelo Selleri who will keep this film), and a friend of the latter. But can a conference justify such gaiety? There is more: on that day, the Villa Sorriso awards the chosen lady with an artistic prize and a stay at the hotel: we can only suspect that one of the two girls is in the running for the prize (the shot of the sign would justify this conjecture). And then comes good news from afar: the Gazzetta dello Sport of that day praises the exploits of Fausto Coppi, who has just won the world title in the pursuit at the cycling championships in Denmark. it is his golden year: he has already triumphed at the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, becoming 'il campionissimo' for everyone. Cyclists are regarded as true folk heroes and even saviours of the fatherland. Only the year before, Bartali's resounding victory in a stage of the Tour is said to have pacified the country on the brink of civil war after the assassination attempt on Palmiro Togliatti. Fortunately, the Communist Party secretary recovered and would live until 1964, as we know from yesterday's film dedicated to his funeral. But back to the vets' lunch: such a cheerful table has not been seen for a long time and even the little dog is happy, as he feels he is in good hands and has little cause for happiness, not remotely imagining who Coppi, Bartali and Togliatti are.