The Agresti Kiln is a terracotta manufacturing complex, located just outside of Impruneta. It documents the long-held tradition of terracotta in this small Tuscan town
Today, the Agresti Kiln is a Documentation Center of Terracotta from Impruneta. It is important not only for the building’s historical value but also because it where centuries-old tools, models, moulds and other equipment that attest to the importance of this artisan trade are conserved. These objects were used until just a few years ago when the kiln was still in use. The Agresti family was one of the oldest kiln families in Impruneta, and they worked in the trade years before the Agresti Kiln and manufacturing complex was built in the 18th-century.
This was when the Agresti family transferred their workshop from the clay caves located on Via della Croce. Located on a clay hillside, in close proximity to the prime material used to make terracotta pieces, the Agresti Kiln is made of bricks and stones, and has a loggia at the entrance. The Agresti family began making terracotta in the late-18th century, and they likely learnt the trade from the Lottini family, which began making terracotta objects and art in the 1600s. Inside and at the center of the Kiln, there are two wood stoves. Under these, there is the combustion deposit near a clay deposit. This is perhaps the most beautiful part of the Agresti complex because it features a series of arches.
In the summertime, work was carried out outside under the large loggia and in the yard. In the winter, the shaping, modeling and drying of terracotta products took place in the indoor rooms near the stoves. An intricate water system collected rainwater that was used to model the clay during manufacturing. As the Documentation Center of Terracotta from Impruneta, the Agresti Kiln allows visitors can take part in didactic laboratories to learn the ancient processes of manufacturing terracotta in Impruneta so that these are not forgotten in the future.
First inhabited during the Etruscan and Roman periods, Impruneta is a town on the outskirts of Florence, characterised by the direct contact with the countryside in which it is immersed. To some extent, the description given by Giovan Battista Casotti in 1714 is still relevant today: “Impruneta is a collection of twelve little villages, situated in close distance to one another, or to put in ...