Beach time, everyone!

03/15/2005 - 00:00 AM

  • Beach time, everyone!
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In 1928 SIP's in-house magazine "Sincronizzando…" ran the headline "TUTTI AL MARE!" to announce new summer holidays organized by the company workers social club. Group employees and their relatives could take a two-week holiday at the brand-new SIP seaside village in Rimini at highly-subsidized prices.This was the first in a long line of such policies under Ponti's managership which extended beyond SIP to the whole group. Seaside holidays were first taken by the English nobility in the seventeen hundreds as a health cure (taking the salts and the air).

Seaside holidays became popular with Europe's bourgeois in the eighteen hundreds. In Italy the habit spread to the middle classes and white-collar workers. Ladies' swimming costumes grew shorter and more daring, the most fashionable young women started wearing clothes that were very similar to what their men were wearing; spearheaded by Coco Chanel, the tan was transformed from the "mark of poverty" into a status symbol. Bathing establishments sprang up along the most fashionable stretches of coastline; Cattolica, Rimini and Riccione soon became household names in Italy, the places that large numbers of people flocked to.
Holidays first became a mass phenomenon once there was a public transport network linking the big industrial towns and the coast, and when company employees were offered paid holidays. Italy's first Royal Decree requiring private businesses to give their employees two weeks' paid leave was promulgated in 1919. That same year steelworkers went on strike for the right to six days' holiday per year; their demands were accepted in September 1920. In 1927, the first year SIP offered its workers a holiday, the Mussolini government issued its "Labor Charter", enshrining employees' rights to paid leave after working for the same organization for at least a year, though the actual length of the paid holidays was not specified.

Source: "Sincronizzando…", 1927 and 1928