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WORKING WITH WOOL FROM THE 14TH CENTURY 

Valdagno is a town of 26.000 inhabitants located in the valley of the Agno river, in the province of Vicenza. Together with the town of Schio, in the neighbouring Val Leogra, Valdagno formed one of the centres of the proto-industry, with the development of large factories (Marzotto in Valdagno and Rossi in Schio).

Since the 14th century, wool processing has been a prosperous activity in our territory, which saw a significant development since the late 1700s.At the beginning of the last century Valdagno began its transformation into an industrial city, with a history linked to the Marzotto wool industry.The textile industry and the Marzotto family were the turning point in the city’s rebirth and the switch to the so-called “social city” or “city of harmony”.

 

 

Michela183, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

A  NEW IDEA: THE SOCIAL CITY

Textile entrepreneur Gaetano Marzotto Jr observed that conflict within the factory could be removed by improving the living conditions of the workers and implementing measures that enhanced the gap between the company and society.
This led him to create the “social city”: a combination of housing, common spaces, services for workers and citizens including a polyclinic, a maternity ward, a theater, and sports facilities. 

Jessy94, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Today Valdagno has lost the exclusive “city-factory” link, but the industrial heritage represents a fundamental social and tourist value for the town. The “Social Town”, a parcelling plan started in Valdagno at the end of the 1920s by the entrepreneur Gaetano Marzotto to counter the absence of essential social services, the unhealthiness of housing and disorderly development of the territory, is still the core of the city, with the hospital, schools, sports facilities, cultural and recreational services.

Despite the drastic downsizing due to delocalization and crisis, Marzotto factory is still one of the main companies in the valley.

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