Monday, November 18, 2013

Signs of the Times: El Trovatore Motel

El Trovatore Motel - Kingman, AZ

Kingman, AZ is a town filled with brilliant signage.  As we motored down its dusty byways, we took a quick snap of the El Trovatore Motel sign.  Obviously a later addition to the motor hotel (est. 1939), I couldn't help but love the vermillion surfboard and the individual letter blocks.  I love the unpretentious brickwork.  I love the glimpse of the Hilltop Motel sign in the distance.  I kind of hate the magenta/aqua "Historic Route 66" sign.  My very favorite element of this motel marker is the promise of "Clean Theme Rooms."  Taking a look at the offerings on the motel's own website, the theme rooms appear to be little more than framed posters on the walls of "Legendary Hollywood Icons" - the variations being Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, and Audrey Hepburn.  What more do you want for less than $45 per night?!!

And maybe Mr. Magoo...

Trying to dig a little deeper than Elvis and Marilyn, I was struck by the name of the hotel.  As it happens, "El Trovatore" translates to "The Troubador"...but not quite.  Il Trovatore is the famous Italian opera by Verdi; el trovador is Spanish for the troubador.  Was it simply lazy translation?  Was it Portuguese maybe?  Was it a motel owner cashing in on the pre-WWII opera craze?  Far be it from me to nitpick but I was at a loss.  So deep in my pondering of latin-based articles, all I could think of was "The Anvil Chorus," the most famous chorus from Verdi's Il Trovatore.

The Marx Brothers in A Night at the Opera
featuring Verdi's Il Trovatore

And then I started to wonder if there is a Marx Brothers room at El Trovatore.  The connection is so obvious: El Trovatore - Il Trovatore - Verdi - Opera - A Night at the Opera - The Marx Brothers - Hollywood - Hollywood Icon Theme Rooms - El Trovatore (it all comes full circle)!  The theory might be convoluted, but in all honesty, I think that is a much stronger connection than any Audrey Hepburn ever had to Route 66.  Nevertheless, we think El Trovatore is pretty keen for maintaining its Route 66 history and a great sign!  If you're ever stopping in Kingman, stay the night at El Trovatore and report back to us, please.

Are you a Route 66 buff?  Have you ever marveled at the beautiful signs of Kingman, AZ?

El Trovatore Motel
1140 E Andy Devine Ave


Mr. Tiny

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