Where's the seventeenth floor?
October 25, 2010 12:13 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a picture of an Italian elevator button panel that has the 17th floor / number 17 omitted.

I got curious after reading this from Wikipedia:
17 is an unlucky number in Italy, because in Roman digits 17 is written XVII, that could be rearranged to "VIXI", which in Latin means "I have lived" but can be a euphemism for "I am dead." Cesana Pariol, the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton track used for the 2006 Winter Olympics, had turn 17 originally named "Senza Nome" ("without name" in (Italian)), but the turn was renamed in 2007 in honor of luger Paul Hildgartner.
posted by querty to Society & Culture (3 answers total)
I've never seen anything like it and I lived in Italy for 20 years growing up and visit 4-5 times a year now that I work in the US.

17 is absolutely seen as un unlucky number, especially if lands on a Friday, but not at all to the extent of the number 13 in the US. There's no point pretending there's no 17th floor when there obviously is, but then again, there are not very many buildings in Italy that have more than 17 floors, comparatively.

As an example, the Italian consulate in Boston is on the 17th floor. I'm not sure they even gave it a second thought.
posted by lydhre at 12:40 AM on October 25, 2010

Well, i am italian, and all my revisions past number 16 and before 18 are named 16b -- however, i cant recall seeing this particular picture..
posted by 3mendo at 2:12 AM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

3mendo, love your user name. I too am Italian, and I have never heard about this, and after consulting Italian language websites that discuss superstizioni, all I found were websites with kids asking about it (yahoo answers in italiano, basically). I grew up thinking 13 was an unlucky number. I can also tell you for a fact that buildings DO have a seventeenth floor, and a button for the seventeenth floor. Any building that didn't have it I would think is an anomaly, or it didn't go up 17 floors.
posted by msali at 8:54 PM on October 25, 2010

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