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Fornace Agresti

Historical Buildings

Amongst the many terracotta kilns in Impruneta, one has remained intact, standing as a testament to centuries-old firing techniques

The Fornace Agresti is a complex in Impruneta owned by the city council. The Fornace is important not only for its historic value, but also because it conserves equipment, moulds and models that were used until the factory closed a few decades ago.

The Agresti were one of the oldest families of kiln owners in Impruneta and their business dated to long before the Fornace were built. The complex dates to the early 18th century, when the Agresti moved their business to the space following the depletion of their quarry in via della Croce. Located midway up a clayey hill, where all the materials were extracted, the kiln was built in brick and stone and had a loggia on the front façade.

The Agresti family’s profession as kiln operators in Impruneta is documented at least as early as the mid-18th century, and could be tied to the business run by the Lottini family, documented as far back as the early 1600s. The complex vaunts various overlapping levels: at the centre are two wooden kilns, while further down is the firewood depository, found inside the clay mine. This part of the complex is perhaps the most beautiful because of its structure and arches. During the summer, the work was carried out under the large porch and in the courtyard. In the winter, the pieces were moulded and dried in the rooms closest to the ovens. A system of wells collected rain water into a cistern, which the workers could then use.

Today, the Fornace is a documentation centre related to Impruneta’s terracotta industry and hosts concerts, exhibitions and tastings.

More attractions in Impruneta