One March morning, at the end of a day’s journey by train, Giuseppe Corte arrived in the city where the famous nursing home was located. He had a slight fever, but chose none the less to walk from the station to the hospital, carrying his overnight bag himself.

Detected in an early stage and negligible though his infection was, Giuseppe Corte had been counselled to seek treatment at the renowned sanatorium, to which sufferers from his disease were the only ones admitted. This thereby guaranteed exceptional competence on the part of the doctors and the soundest disposition of facilities within the hospital itself.

As he caught sight of it from a distance—recognizable from a photograph he had once seen in a prospectus—Giuseppe Corte was most favorably impressed. With a façade of projecting wings, the white seven-storeyed structure bore a vague resemblance to a hotel. It was surrounded by a girdle of tall trees.