Soon enough, going to Fadigati’s became more than a fashion, became a distinct pleasure. Especially on winter evenings, when the icy wind, whistling, threaded its way from the Piazza Cattedrale down Via Gorgadello, it was with frank satisfaction that the rich bourgeois, wrapped up in his fur coat, using the pretext of the faintest of sore throats to slip inside the half-closed little door, would climb up the two staircases and ring the bell at the glass door. Up there, beyond that magical luminous hatch, at which presided a nurse in a white apron, who was always young and smiling, he would find radiators going at full steam, warmer than at his own house, or even, perhaps, than at the Businessman’s Club or the Union. He would find armchairs and sofas aplenty, occasional tables always furnished with the most up-to-date papers and journals, shutters that diffused a strong, white, generous light. He would find carpets that, when one grew tired of being there, snoozing in the warmth or leafing through the illustrated reviews, beckoned him to pass from one waiting room to the next to look at the multitude of paintings and prints, both ancient and modern, hung on the walls. He would find a good-natured and sociable doctor who while personally ushering him ‘in there’ to examine the sore throat, seemed above all anxious to know, like the truly refined gentleman he was, whether his patient had had the opportunity to hear, some evenings before, at Bologna’s Teatro Communale, Aureliano Pertile in Lohengrin; or else, who knows? – if he had looked closely at the De Chirico or that little Casorati hung on such-and-such a wall in whichever waiting room, and if the De Pisis had appealed to him; and then he would express profound surprise if his patient, in response, confessed to not knowing who Filippo de Pisis was, let alone that he was a young and very promising painter from Ferrara. A comfortable, pleasing and refined setting, and what’s more, it even acted as a mental stimulus. A place where time, accursed time, which is always an insuperable problem for the provinces, passed in a delightful way.