Museum of Industrial Heritage

Bologna is one of Italy’s principal industrial cities, and has also been a major centre for the study of industrial archaeology. The Aldini-Valeriani Museum and the University of Bologna collaborated in the 1970s and 1980s to create a remarkable series of working models, of which the most impressive is a half-size silk-throwing mill. Multi-storey factories were erected in the city to accommodate such machines from the 16th century, and by 1700 about 400 water wheels were powering machinery related to silk manufacturing.  The model and other replicas produced during this project have been displayed since 1997 in a former brickworks. The institution is now called the Museo de Patrimonio Industriale, and is one of seven establishments managed by the city’s museum service. The brickworks, the Fornace Galotti, is located in a suburb alongside the Canale Navile, a waterway used until the 1940s. The centrepiece, accommodating many of the displays, is a 16-chamber Hoffman kiln, used between 1887 and 1966. The displays relating to the silk industry from the Renaissance onwards, incorporating the half-scale throwing machine, are naturally given due prominence, but Bologna was and is important for other industries, the manufacture of clothing and machine tools for example. Engineering has been particularly prominent and displays include Maserati motor cars and Ducati  motor cycles and motor car components made in Bologna.

Museum of Industrial Heritage
Museo del Patrimonio Industriale
Fornace Galotti Via della Beverara 123
40131 Bologna
+39 (0) 51 - 6356611