There is a village about thirty kilometers from Milan called Crespi d’Adda. You can even get there by bicycle following the Martesana canal and then the Adda. On the way, you will cross through a wide variety of landscapes of natural and cultural interest, to then arrive in Crespi, built along the river Adda and next to the factory bearing the same name, as desired by its enlightened owners.
The village is a beautiful example of a 19th-/20th-century company town, with social services such as a clinic, a school, a theater, a cemetery, a washhouse and a church. Crespi d’Adda was the first town in Italy to be illuminated by electric light. The atmosphere of the place is surreal: walking along the grid-plan streets, where the houses that used to belong to the company’s employees stand, one almost has the impression of being on a movie set.
Most of the dwellings are two-family houses, each with its own garden, so as to create harmony and avoid discussions among the workers. In fact, from 1892, in the following fifty years there were no strikes or other forms of social disorder at the Crespi textile factory.