A prime example of a company town in the heart of Lombardy
Few places in the world represent the philosophy of the enlightened industrialists of the late 19th and early 20th century in such an exemplary way. Back then, large factories were built alongside residential complexes, to focus people’s work and private life in one place.
The working-class village of Crespi d’Adda, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995, is the best-preserved example of this in Europe. It is a place where time seems to have stopped back in that period of industrial boom. Being catapulted into this reality that is so incredibly different from the norm is an unmissable experience.
Looming over the small town on the outskirts of Bergamo is the large textile mill, opened by the Crespi family in 1878 on the banks of the River Adda. From there, between parallel streets and a hilly area, you can walk between the houses that for decades housed the factory workers and everyday public places, including the school, church, public toilets and infirmary. In the residential area, the doctor’s and chaplain’s residences still stand, as do the elegant villas that belonged to the company executives.