It was still day one of our urbex road trip in Italy when we had arrived this big factory. No, “big” is an understatement. It was massive! Actually it’s one of the most tremendous abandoned sites we have visited so far. By now the vast building complex has become the home of several illegal refugees and homeless people. We were not sure if we should enter the halls at all. After all we had a lot of expensive equipment with us.
The factory consists of several seemingly endless halls. But today, all of them are mostly emptied out and it’s hard to see what was produced here back then when the place was still active. But our research revealed that this used to be a cotton spinning mill. In the past all these halls were probably packed up to the roof with big machines! Several centuries ago a lot of these factories were built by one single family that used to be the biggest domestic cotton producers for some time. Today there isn’t much left of this empire. Nowadays you can find plenty of giant abandoned factories all over Italy which are the last remains of the former major corporation.
Even though the spacious factory halls are very impressive they weren’t the reason why we came here in the first place. On our journey through abandoned Italy we were searching for the most beautiful natural decay. And according to rumors we should make such a find in the old office tower at the edge of the compound. We were wishing for some real urbex highlights!
Obviously, the roof of the multistory building is leaking. Nearly everywhere it’s dripping from the ceiling. The condition of the building stock has become that bad that the water is soaking through every single floor – from the top to the bottom of the tower. But this is actually accelerating the decay we were looking for.
It seems like people left this place in a hurry. But according to our sources the factory was shut down by the government. The reason: This place was responsible for a massive environmental pollution. We will go into detail in just a bit. But at first let’s look around the administration building a little longer.
Next to computers and documents there are also some samples left behind. Especially printed fabric was produced here in the past. As mentioned earlier this multiple hectare big compound was part of a nationwide operating family enterprise. In the 19th century production started in the first factory. The company could expand really quickly and in its heyday the business had a significant impact on the economic growth of the country. On world exhibitions the enterprise proudly presented its fabrics. But due to the high costs of all the branches and a huge drop in sales the permanent closure of all the facilities was inevitable in the early 2000s. In the end the company became bankrupt. But at that point this particular factory has already been decommissioned for years.
Some years ago it was already discussed how to proceed with this abandoned factory in the future. A part of the building complex was supposed to be retained. But in a citizens' forum people decided to transform the site to a pleasure ground. A big pond should also become part of the public garden. But apparently this is more difficult than expected. Due to dangerous waste the ground water is contaminated which is the reason why the site was shut down in the first place. To be able to start the soil cleaning the former thermal power plant was knocked down recently. But since a lot of asbestos was used during the construction of all the buildings, the demolition is a new risk to the environment now. So the recovery measures have been rather sluggish.