The Villagio Leumann at Collegno, 10 km west of Turin, ranks with Crespi d’Adda as an outstanding example of Italian entrepreneurial philanthropy. A Swiss entrepreneur, Isaac Leumann (1807-87) set up a textile business at Voghera near Pavia in Lombardy, where his son, Napoleon Leumann (1841-1930), married Amalia Cerutti, daughter of the president of a bank which gave him access to loans for the development of his business. Father and son moved to Turin in 1875 where they obtained land for a factory at Collegno near the terminus of a tram line from the city.
A cotton factory, the Cotonificio Leumann, began work in 1877. Napoleon Leumann laid out alongside it a workers’ village with a generous provision of communal facilities, a clinic, a laundry, a dining hall, a kindergarten, a gymnasium, a bathhouse, a co-operative food shop, an hotel, a boarding house for young workers, and the church of St Elisabeth. The village was designed in the Art Nouveau (or ‘Liberty’ style, as it is known in Italy), by the architect Fenoglio (1865-1927). Napoleon Leumann also invested in electricity supply, paper mills, distilling and banks, and supported numerous philanthropic organisations. The Cotonificio Leumann closed in 1972, but the village history is kept alive by a documentation centre established by the Friends of the Leuman School.