Fornace Curti was born and raised with the history of Milan.
When the construction of the Ospedale Maggiore (Ca' Granda - now the University of Milan) began in 1400 by the will of Bianca Maria Visconti, wife of Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, it was the Curti furnace, at the service of the Sforza family, that produced tiles, bricks, friezes and decorations in red terracotta.
At the time, the furnace was in the heart of Milan, and although it has moved four times during its tumultuous centuries-old history, it has never left the Porta Ticinese area and has always been known as the "furnace of Milan".
From 1400 to today, Fornace Curti has been involved in the production and restoration of terracotta for many palaces, churches and gardens in Milan and Lombardy. It has produced ceramics for the Ca' Granda, the Certosa of Pavia, the Convent of Morimondo, the Convent of Chiaravalle, S. Maria delle Grazie, the Duomo of Monza and many other cathedrals, and has a strong link with Milan and the surrounding cities.
Throughout its long history, the workshop has always been frequented by artists who made sculptures and ceramics in Majolica. Some have become famous, like Giacomo Manzù and Pomodoro, others less so, but the artists and the workshop have always had a close relationship. Even today, the workshop is open to a variety of artisans and artists.
If you are in Milan, I highly suggest you to visit the beautiful Fornace Curti. Entering the brick-paved courtyards and walking among the colors and atmospheres of the many galleries, stairs, and fireplaces, you lose the sense of time and feel transported back hundreds of years.
If you are interested in crafts, you will surely be thrilled and inspired.
If you walk around the site while being distracted by the terracotta placed here and there, you will encounter many artisans.
Among them, if you see a petite lady with a beautiful smile walking briskly in the typical Milanese way, it is Daria, the wife, who is the face of Fornace Curti next to the shy Alberto.
The current heir Alberto was born here and made his first job - a dog figurine - at the age of 6, and started working in the furnace at 15. In those days, he would get up 8/9 times a night to check the oven when it was turned on.
A craftsman does things in pursuit of perfection.
Even though he knows he will never reach perfection. When Alberto says it, it is a concept that has weight.
In "Memories of Italy", we present their terracotta moneybox.
The same shape of this piggy bank is said to have been found in remains from Roman times.
In Italy, it is a common object in many families. It is authentic and beautifully shaped, and the natural touch of terracotta is very pleasant.
Make a promise to yourself, your family or loved ones to start saving in the moneybox. One day you will find that you are accumulating your memories instead of money.
And when your piggy bank is full, toast with your loved one with a glass of good Italian wine in hand and a hammer to open your terracotta chest full of memories.
Breaking to open it is a very symbolic and ancient ritual...