- Art & Culture
Bergamo, Crespi d'Adda
For 53 years starting from the end of the 19th century, Crespi d’Adda was the embodiment of the “company town” dream.
Now, the settlement is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and represents a veritable industrial archaeology treasure trove.
It’s certainly not one to be missed for anyone who loves architecture or merely enjoys discovering new stories. The settlement had everything its inhabitants needed: a school, a hospital, a wash house and even an indoor swimming pool replete with showers and… hot water!
Like all small towns, Crespi d’Adda also had a church, a store, a cemetery and dozens of houses with their own allotments and gardens for the employees of the mill, as well as small villas belonging to the managers.
The skyline of the complex – created by a dynasty of cotton manufacturers on the Bergamo bank of the River Adda – is dominated by the mill’s dizzyingly tall chimney, huge windows and fired brick decorations.
Crespi d’Adda – which was the first town in Italy to have street lighting – is still inhabited today, mainly by descendants of plant workers. On Sunday afternoons between mid-March and November, guided tours are run for small groups, while school parties and larger groups can book in a visit all year round.