Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Ferentino, Italy

Giorgi's Furnace

Production site for handmade clay bricks. 

Antiche Fornaci Giorgi is a production site for handmade clay bricks, sculptures, pottery, hand painted and decorated tiles (like “azulejos”), mosaics, and just about every other object that could be made of clay. The business is still alive and the plant manufactures at least 180,000 pieces every year, most of which are used in the construction of luxury houses and restoration.

The oddity is in the completely hand-driven production process. Clay is prepared by hand, bricks are formed with wooden mounts, dried by sun and wind, fired with wood, and checked piece by piece. These pieces from Giorgi’s Furnace are used all over the city of Ferentino.

The main shelter was bombed during World War II, but other facilities that are part of the Giorgi’s Furnace complex and the kilns are unchanged from the 1730s. Documents have been found on site that date back to that decade, confirming commercial ventures with the Vatican and rich families like Spada, Colonna, Este, whose villas actually contain those bricks.

Giorgi is also one of the oldest brands in the world. We know this as some bricks were stamped with the name of the family from 1750s and found in many historical buildings in Rome. The name Pietro Giorgi was also passed down from generation to generation and the last Pietro, born in 1928, is still alive at the time of this writing. This is definitely a must for every architect or creative to visit.

Know Before You Go

From Rome, take A1 highway south and Giorgi's Furnace is between Anagni and Frosinone.