Fighting modernity with modernity: Agip motels and the making of postwar Italy

Francesco Massimo Maria Buscemi

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


This article focuses on the Italian chain Motel Agip from 1954, when it was created, to 1973, when the oil crisis discouraged car tourism. It combines Bourdieu’s idea that leisure and food provide cultural capital and constructivist theories where leisure contributes to modernity and to shaping people’s identities. The article adopts new archivalist analysis of textual and visual promotional items created or commissioned by ENI and stored in the ENI Historical Archive. Agip motels, in offering relaxation and tranquillity, promised to fight the stress of modern life. At the same time, they perfectly epitomized modernity thanks to their architectural and interior design, in contrast to the subsequent Italian nostalgic approach to leisure and food, which has fought the problems of modern life with old habits and traditions. Thus, among metallic walls, glass doors and new technologies, Agip motels significantly advanced the idea (unusual in Italy) of fighting modernity with modernity.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)229-247
Numero di pagine19
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019
Pubblicato esternamente


  • Agip motels
  • Enrico Mattei
  • Italian food
  • Italian leisure
  • Motels Agip
  • loisirs italiens
  • modernity
  • modernité
  • nourriture italienne


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