Hello and welcome to Lugano. It is the year 1938 and a new magazine has just been published.
Local News, Vintage Advertising, and Other Cool Stuff
Its name is La Rivista di Lugano, and it is a simple yet interesting way of discovering life in the Tessin region in the Thirties. In the magazine, you will find pages about regular news from the region and from the rest of Switzerland, and also a very interesting column regarding the news from the rest of Europe and the world, where a Second World War is brewing.
There are news about sports, movie listings at local cinemas, and even a page about fashion for autumn 1938 - including shoes and accessories.
Also in the breaking news section: The arrival of a new cooling technology which will quickly allow families to own a refrigerating closet in their kitchen!
Then there is the satire column. There are short poems in local vernacular – which I find very hard to decipher. And of course, the page with the classifieds. You gotta love the classifieds: 250 francs will buy you a gramophone... or a calculator!
Rivista di Lugano's 75th Anniversary Reprint
I found this magazine at a stand in a supermarket recently, together with a vintage Heidelberg printer. Being a fanatic of vintage design, typography and printed goods, I got hooked the minute I spotted this vintage magazine.
How could you not love a totally faithful reprint of a magazine from 1938? It is full of amazing logos and ads, great for inspiration, but it also provides a very interesting view of what Lugano and Ticino were like some 75 years ago.
You know what's funny? That things haven't changed very much since then.
The approach to the rest of Switzerland and the world it's more or less the same. The interested in local events, local people, local shops, local news – this is what Ticino really loves. These small local magazines are very popular around here, because people really love to read about their region and their neighborhood, sometimes more than they care about the rest of the world.
A Beloved Local Magazine
This proves once more how Ticino is really a world within a world: So different from Italy, and yet so different from the rest of Switzerland.
La Rivista di Lugano has been published for 75 years and it has always been a favorite in local news. People have been reading and supporting it over the years, while local companies and shops have used it as a quick and effective window for advertising. It is published every week, but twice a year every house in Lugano gets a free copy. So La Rivista di Lugano is still very popular among the locals.
The current magazine has lost its retro vintage look for a modern, practical layout, and it is hardly as awesome as its great-grandfather from the 1930's. But I totally fell in love with the idea of reprinting the first edition for collectors and design enthusiasts.
I wish we could see more of this vintage Ticino from the pre-war era, as it was a very fascinating time.
(Pictures of the prints provided courtesy of Rivista di Lugano)