Go back

Colleferro, an industrial town

Colleferro, a town with a historical industrial vocation, stands in a natural setting in the Sacco valley on the slopes of the Lepini Mountains.
It owes its development in the modern era above all to the BPD - Bomprini Parodi Delfino explosives factory, which was established in 1912 from the conversion of the Valsacco sugar refinery. When the explosives factory became an official supplier to the Ministry of Defence, the production of war material began to increase; workers from various Italian regions arrived to meet the growing demand. The prosperity of the powder mill also became an opportunity to develop the area. The need to create a real village for workers and employees came about, consisting of accommodation, essential services and a small church.

What emerges is a kind of precursor village of the New Town. The real “New Town”, however, emerged many years later, on 13 June 1935, when the Roman engineer Riccardo Morandi drew up a new town plan on behalf of the BPD. Its urban centre has a similar layout to that of the other New Towns: a square, with public buildings around it, intended as an urban hub from which primary and secondary streets branch off. During the Second World War, unfortunately, Colleferro was bombed several times in an attempt to destroy the explosives factory. In the post-war period, however, the town rose again thanks above all to the engineer Morandi, who once again gave life to a “business town” by devising a new plan to construct buildings for workers around the new Piazza Mazzini.

The new construction techniques and architectural languages adopted produced truly extraordinary results such as the Church of Santa Barbara (1935), the Covered Market (1939-40), the BPD Trade and Business Centre (1935), the INA-CASA Buildings (1956), the Chemical-Physical Studies Centre (1953-57), the Cement Works (1936 and 1964) and the Metallurgical Centre (1954). Such was the contribution of the Roman engineer that Colleferro is also known as the “Morandian town”.

Colleferro went from a workers' village to a New Town and then to a business town. It changed without ever really changing.
In the post-war period, traditional industries experienced a crisis but Colleferro opened up to experimentation, innovation and other "enterprises" such as the space industry. Today, Colleferro is an important Space Capital where the entire aerospace industry is concentrated, including Avio SpA, one of the world's leading aerospace companies. The Vega rocket carrier, launched into space in 2012, proudly recalls this record at the entrance to the town.

Colleferro is a young town, actually has a history behind it that deserves to be known.

Come and admire the remains of the 13th-century city walls and the ruins of the Piombinara Castle and Tower, erected in the 11th century, which bear witness to the town's more ancient roots. The Archaeological Museum of the Toleriense Territory is also worth a visit. It houses several archaeological artefacts that bear witness to the presence of man in the area from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages.

Colleferro, an industrial town, has nature on its doorstep, a unique opportunity for those seeking a balance between urban life and contact with nature.

Our Sacco Valley and the nearby Lepini Mountains, rich in underground caves, offer fascinating and relaxing walks. You can also reach them by bicycle along a leisurely route from the station. You gradually leave the built-up area behind you and gain altitude, accompanied by the surrounding vegetation that makes its way along the sides of the road.

Colleferro, a working town, becomes a “natural film set, hosting many Italian films.

It was the industrial setting that attracted the great directors of Italian cinema. Several scenes of Europe '51 by Roberto Rossellini were filmed in the Cement Factory, as were those of Lady Caliph, directed by Alberto Bevilacqua. The town is also in The Devil in Love by Ettore Scola and in We'll Call Him Andrew directed by Vittorio De Sica. It is even featured in the TV miniseries Uno bianca by Michele Soavi. It is the star in the documentary Città Novecento shot by Pierluigi Ferrandini and Dario Biello.

The soul of this area can also be seen at the Slow Food Cesanese Territory Earth Market, in the splendid setting of the covered market, a historic place of the town's commerce, where healthy products from a strictly controlled supply chain are promoted and sold.

Colleferro is a town where you find cultural elements off the beaten track. Places of enterprise, architectural work and innovation are described and stories of the future are written.