The foundry in Tavernole sul Mella is a 15th-century production structure whose name once identified both the tower, where the mineral was transformed and the building with all the annexed structures. The foundry entered the production circuit in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was later transformed into a sawmill and remained so until the 1950s, when it was completely abandoned.
Since 2002, the charm of this ancient “cathedral of work” has been revived in the spaces of the museum, where the exhibition is accompanied by panels that tell the centuries-old history of the foundry and the production processes connected to the smelting activity. Thanks to audio-visual aids and audio guides available in Italian and English, visitors can immerse themselves in the life of the site. The museum also contains special rooms for educational purposes, which allow carrying out specific activities aimed at younger visitors.
The collection of Giuseppe Ganzola, a native of Cimmo, is on public display in a portion of the conference room on the ground floor. This collection includes farming tools, work tools, sidearms and firearms representative of the noble art of the “ferrarezze” (ironworkers).
Fun fact: between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century Leonardo Da Vinci made two trips to Valle Trompia with the aim of learning the production processes and possible innovations developed by the local iron masters. The “Il Forno” Museum of Tavernole is one of the stages of the “Via del Ferro e delle Miniere” of the Ecomuseum of Valle Trompia – The Mountain and Industry, and is part of the Valle Trompia Museum System.