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  • Exterior of the Former Forti Factory, Vaiano.zoom in altra finestra
  • Exterior of the Former Forti Factory, Vaiano.zoom in altra finestra

Ex Stabilimento Forti [Former Forti Factory]

A unique case in the province of Prato, this old concentration of buildings in the La Briglia locality constitutes an interesting example of nineteenth-century "factory-city". Its story began in 1735 when Genovese businessman Clemente Ricci decided to establish a paper-mill in an area where a medieval watermill stood, and to outfit it with twenty hydraulic pulp-making tanks, thereby making it one of the most important paper-mills in Italy at that time. In the 19th century, the factory was transformed into a foundry for copper, with the consequent radical change of its structures. The activity conducted by the Anglo-Italian company of the Hall brothers, Sloane and Coppi was short-lived, and already in the last twenty years of the century, businessman Beniamino Forti transformed the establishment into a textile factory. The development of the new factory was such that measures were taken already in the early 20th century to create numerous infrastructures around it. In addition to housing for the workers, these included a school, a theatre, a circulating library, premises for the fire brigade, and other service structures. As of the 1940s a slow but inexorable decline has undermined many of the old structures, despite the fact that part of the rooms are still utilised for textile activity. Today, a plan of urban rehabilitation is underway that mainly concerns the lower part of the inhabited area.


Texts by Elena Fani

English translation by Victor Beard

Last update 17/gen/2008