Sunny beaches, stunning mountains, ancient monuments, and vibrant cities—Italy seems to have endless excitement for tourists. Through its posters from the 1920s and 1930s you can ride the iconic gondolas of Venice, explore the mountainous village of Merano, and stand high above the sea amid the ruins of Taormina. For decades, posters were a common way for countries around Europe, including Italy, to attract people for a fun-filled jaunt or relaxing escape.
Railroad companies, such as the French Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée or the Italian Ferrovie dello Stato, would commission posters by renowned artists and designers to advertise their luxury routes. Riders from cities and towns all along the lines—basically, all over Western Europe—could board and make their way to Rome, Venice, or anywhere else in Italy where the trains stopped. The government even got into the business, creating the ENIT, or Italian Government Tourist Board, which also commissioned many of the designs you see in this coloring book.
For your coloring pleasure, this book contains line drawings tracing twenty of these early Italian travel posters. The original full-color posters are shown as small pictures on the inside front and back covers. Maybe you’ve been to one or more of these places, or maybe you’ll visit them someday. Which places seem most appealing to you? Which poster designs attract your attention the most?
- Mario Borgoni (Italian, 1869–1936), Merano, c. 1927
- Roger Broders (French, 1883–1953), Rome, 1921
- Roger Broders (French, 1883–1953), Florence, 1921
- Unknown designer, Marina di Ravenna, 1931
- Attilio Ravaglia, Palermo
- Georges Dorival (French, 1879–1968), Rome
- Georges Dorival (French, 1879–1968), Venise
- Marcello Nizzoli (Italian, 1887–1969), Bergamo
- Walter Molino (Italian, 1915–1997), Italia / Abbazia
- Unknown designer, Simplon Express
- Sergio Franciscone (Italian, b. 1912), Merano
- Virgilio Retrosi (Italian, 1892–1975), Roma, c. 1930
- Unknown designer, Venezia, 1928
- Unknown designer, Trafoi / Passo dello Stelvio, c. 1920.
- Giovanni Guerrini (Italian, 1887–1972), Cesenatico, 1927
- Attilio Ravaglia, Ravenna, c. 1930s
- Ernest Louis Lessieux (French, 1848–1925), Chemins de fer de l’Est / Venise
- Vittorio Grassi (Italian, 1878–1955), Taormina
- Giuseppe Riccobaldi (Italian, 1887–1976), Lago di Garda / Riva-Torbole
- Unknown designer, Aux Lacs Italiens, c. 1928