Select Page

Ancient crystal factory, an industrial archeology complex that is still well preserved, testimony to the flourishing glass business that developed in the Giudicarie in the 19th century.

In the nineteenth century four glassworks settled in the Giudicarie: the Bormioli and Garuti glassworks in Val D’Algone, the Fabbrica di cristalli Pernici and Bolognini in Carisolo and the Venini glassworks in Tione. A flourishing and renowned industry, which produced plates for windows and bottles. In the Carisolo glassware, fine glassware exported to Northern Italy and Northern Europe. The Giudicarie valleys possessed all the requisites necessary to glass production. The subsoil rich in quartz of excellent quality, an essential element of vitreous paste. Lush woods to supply furnaces with fuel. And finally plenty of running water, to feed the large water wheels of mills and sawmills.

In the Fabbrica di Cristalli Pernici and Bolognini (1805-1888) in Carisolo, worked about 70 people. The workers who crushed the quartz, the woodcutters, the master glassmakers, from Bohemia and Alsace, and workers. The production complex was like a small village. It was composed of the large Halle, site of the furnace, with its imposing chimney. And then the workers’ house, the colombera, the office building, the manor house, the stables, the “Venetian” water-sawmill and the quartz mill.

The mineral came from the mines of Borzago and Giustino. It was transported on the back of mules or on sledges to the mill. Reduced to dust in the imposing granite muller, it provided the raw material for the glass composite. The activity of the glassworks lasted about a century. It still represents an enlightened example of entrepreneurship that knew how to transform an isolated community into a multicultural complex . From that period few but significant facilities are left. For example, the ruin of the chimney of the second glass factory in Val D’Algone and the complex of the “Fabrica Cristallorum” in Carisolo, in the “Antica Vetreria” area.

The site can be reached from Carisolo, following the road to Antica Vetreria.