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Italian Industrial Landscape

Guided tour to illustrate the industrial history of a part of the Italian peninsula through former factories, museums and sites in Veneto, Emilia and Lombardy.

  • Venice
  • Bassano del Grappa
  • Schio
  • Bologna
  • Milan

A complete overview of Italy’s industrial heritage offered by the variety of eras and types of industrial products.

Without neglecting elements of more classic tourism, such as a visit to the centre of the cities with their typical cultural and food and wine characteristics: an enriching break even for the most passionate visitor to industrial archaeology and the history of technology.

Day 1 e 2 – Venice

The tour starts from Venice and one of its industrial monuments the Cotonificio Veneziano, now seat of the IUAV. Then you will move to the old Bevilacqua Weaving Mill where you will learn about the history and techniques of the oldest Venetian textile manufacture.

A ride on the vaporetto to the Arsenale Gardens where you can enjoy a quick brunch before visiting the Arsenale area, in ancient times the largest shipyard in the peninsula.

In front of St. Mark’s Square, you will access the salt warehouses and their layout, designed by Renzo Piano, before landing on the island of Giudecca for a brief tour of the site where there are strong traces of industry, the Molino Stucky, the Dreher Factory and the Fortuny Galleries.

The following day, a tour of unconventional Venice, lunch in a bacaro, and a guided visit to the Olivetti shop designed by Carlo Scarpa.


Day 3 – Bassano del Grappa and Schio

After the morning transfer to Bassano del Grappa, a visit to the centre of the town with a walk over the famous Ponte degli Alpini bridge, which has existed since 1209 and was redesigned in its current form by Andrea Palladio in 1569. After crossing the bridge, stop at the Poli Grappa Museum for a quick overview of the famous Veneto distillate, tasting and possibility of purchase.

Lunch in the town and transfer to the Bonfanti Museum in the immediate vicinity, where you can admire the technological discoveries, especially related to engines and racing cars, which have characterised the modern age.

From here, transfer to Schio, the Italian Manchester, with its iconic sites: Fabbrica Alta, Lanificio Conte, Jacquard garden, Asilo Rossi and the workers’ village.

Return to Bassano with dinner in a typical trattoria and overnight stay.


Day 4 – Bologna

The visit to Bologna begins at the Industrial Heritage Museum, where the economic-productive history of the city and its territory from the Modern to the Contemporary Age is documented. The museum is housed in a striking location, a renovated brick kiln dating back to the second half of the 19th century.

The day continues with a walk through the Manufacture of Arts, located in the heart of Bologna. From the Renaissance until the 19th century, the area was the city’s port area and, together with its proto-industrial hinterland, the commercial and manufacturing epicentre of Bologna’s economy at least until the end of the 17th century.

The day ends with dinner in a Bolognese osteria where typical dishes made with local products will be served.


Day 5 e 6 – Milan – Crespi d’Adda

The visit to Milan begins with arrival in the Brenta district, a district that has little in common with Brera and the fashionable streets of Milan. Instead, the scenery offers a jumble of former industrial buildings and disused post offices, where the Fondazione Prada has acquired an old distillery from the 1910s and given it a new identity.

After lunch at Bar Luce, near the Foundation, the walk continues to Zona Tortona. An area capable of uniting past and present, where architectural redevelopment is the main feature, giving new life to abandoned factories. The huge former Ansaldo factory, whose redevelopment is still in its final stages, is home to the Teatro alla Scala, BASE Milano and the MUDEC – Museum of Cultures.

The following day is dedicated to a visit to the late 19th-century workers’ village in Crespi d’Adda, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It then continues to the Campari Gallery where the history of the brand is told through an evocative journey through space and time.

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