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The Furnace Penna

  • Sampieri
  • Archeology Art Culture

The Furnace Penna is a monument of industrial archeology and is located in the district Pisciotto a Sampieri, in the municipality of Scicli in the province of Ragusa.

For visitors it is also and above all the Mannara of Monatalbano. It was commissioned by the engineer Ignazio Emmolo and completed the works in 1912.

Since that day it overlooks the sea of ​​Punta Pisciotto. The factory, equipped with a Hoffmann oven, was one of the most advanced industries in the south.

He produced bricks and managed to churn out ten thousand pieces a day between bricks and tiles.

They were then sold and marketed in many Mediterranean countries, especially in Malta and Libya.

La Fornace rises on three floors, and the main body has a basilica plan to resemble more of an ancient church than a factory. For these reasons, in fact, Vittorio Sgarbi called it a “secular basilica by the sea”.

The Fornace Penna gave work to a hundred people of the lower classes, many of the workers were little more than teenagers.

On January 26, 1924, an arson destroyed it completely. The attempt was made by the sailors of Sampieri, the farmers of the neighboring funds and the many workers, who tried to extinguish the fire.

Suspicions of political vendettas, possible motivations for competition are intertwined in a canvas that covers the mystery.

From that day the Fornace Penna resists two steps from the sea, lashed by the winds and the salt that occasionally cause some collapses. Among all the places in Montalbano, Fornace Penna is surely the one that, together with the Commissariat, returns more often to the small screen.

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