The Alfonso Garofalo pasta factory in Gragnano, Naples, Italy: history, technologies and hypotheses of reuse


  • Claudia Sicignano Building engineer - architect



proto industry, reuse, pasta museum


About fifteen water mills settled in the Valley of the Mills of Gragnano. Thanks to new technologies, a few centuries later, fifty-seven new pasta factories were built on the Corso Sancio. The building typology was recurrent and constant. Each of them consisted of a ground floor, three floors in elevation and one or two underground levels that were in the rear close to the Vernotico stream. The complex retreated, for logistical and space reasons, from the road curtain, developing over an area of its own, with a large inner courtyard, a sort of real square, for the movement of horse-drawn carts, then trucks and therefore still several artifacts. For his time Alfonso Garofalo was one of the greatest Italian pasta manufacturers. After more than a hundred years the vertical production processes and the work done in many small building entities proved to be expensive with respect to industrial competitiveness. In other parts of Italy some pasta factories already appeared on a single level, with production in horizontal continuity and mechanized drying. In 1963 the historical Pastificio Alfonso Garofalo closed due to bankruptcy and the industrial activity was closed forever. The real problem that remains today is the reuse of these large abandoned container in the historic center. The building complex in the heart of the town, which is part of Industrial Archeology is now in serious disrepair and deserves to be restored and reused.


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Author Biography

Claudia Sicignano, Building engineer - architect

PhD in Architecture and Survey Technology and Architecture and Environment Representation


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How to Cite

Sicignano, C. (2019) “The Alfonso Garofalo pasta factory in Gragnano, Naples, Italy: history, technologies and hypotheses of reuse”, VITRUVIO - International Journal of Architectural Technology and Sustainability, 4(2), pp. 1–10. doi: 10.4995/vitruvio-ijats.2019.12489.