Having visited Crespi D’Adda in January 2012 during one cold winter day, I was lucky to have the opportunity to come to this historical site that has been declared as a UNESCO’s world heritage since 1995. Located in the province of Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy, it shows a great historical settlement and an amazing example of company town.
The village of Crespi D’Adda was bought (around a kilometer of valley) by Cristoforo Benigno Crespi in 19th century, who was a textile manufacturer from Varese, a province in Lombardy, Italy as he planned to install a cotton mill of his own at the banks of Adda River.
During that moment, he had introduced an outstanding and modern processes in his cotton mill industry. His factory developed very well between the 19th and early 20th century and this village of Crespi D’Adda is known to be the village in Italy that had got its first modern public lighting.
Other than being recognized as a company town, it is also widely known as the workers’ village. The entire village or town has been dedicated for the Crespi family and also their workers plus their families to live in until the present days.
At that moment, the Crespi family was recognized as not only the owner but also a caring employer who provided the needs of their workers and the workers’ families. One of the most important things provided was free education for the workers’ families, that included not only the lessons but also the tools such as pens and books. Additionally, the workers were also given a nice leisure time activity, an indoor swimming pool that was completed with warm water, showers and changing room.
Until the present time, this village is still inhabited actively and also protected by UNESCO as one of its world heritage sites. It’s opened for public visit to those who want to learn more about its unique history as an outstanding phenomenon of perfect workers’ village and wonderful company town. However, as it still has its residents living in the village, it’s requested to act with respects in the village.
For me, it was really a nice experience and meaningful visit to learn more. If you’re in Italy and interested in visiting this historical town, you can read for more information at their official site (click on the hyperlink).