5 February 2017

Bugatti, The Blue Factory where time has stopped

41011 Campogalliano MO, Italia

We discovered casually, through Facebook, an association called " I luoghi dell’abbandono”, (The abbondonad places), which was promoting a guided tour to the Bugatti factory in Campogalliano (MO).
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the organizers of the event and Ezio, a former worker and current gardian of the abandoned Bugatti factory. There were about thirty or more people waiting ready with their cameras and Ezio guided us during the visit lasted almost two hours. The first impression we all had  was not to be in an abandoned place, but in a place where time has stopped. Ezio, together with his ex-wife and son, takes care, free of charge, of the maintenance and protection of this place for almost twenty years. Unlike the other abandoned places we used to see, the history of the Bugatti factory is rather recent and special. We are told that Romano Artioli, the former owner of the factory, bought the French brand Bugatti in 1987 with the intention of giving it a new life. The investment of 250 billion of old Lira gave rise to this jewel of the automotive industry, located in the heart of the industrial village of Campogalliano.

In order to make the visit less chaotic, visitors were divided into three groups with departures at different times. Along the way Ezio described the places and the events that characterized the birth and the defeat of this business adventure which lasted only ten years. Even if it was abandoned the passion and investment of Artioli can still be perceived in the architectural quality. Structures and materials have withstood time and still let the attention, the care to manpower and the aesthetic taste shine throgh. The first building we visited was the production area with its characteristic prospect towards the highway and its bright interiors that seem only waiting for the workers.

To enrich the description, Ezio took care to place some images depicting the places before abandonment. After a visit to the building containing the engine test cells, we entered the office building, characterized by a glass and concrete architecture. What particularly struck our attention was the presence of the crockery left over from the last catering in the conference room, almost as if the guests had to run away suddenly. The guided tour ended by visiting the various floors of the office building, the places where the 150 cars created in this factory were designed and ri-designed. Later we were given the opportunity to go around freely and take photographs.

Generally, those who photograph abboandoned places find it fascinating, but in this case there was a sensation of a missed opportunity for the territory of the Motor Valley. In our opinion, this place can still have some chances. It is difficult to imagine today a new productive activity due to the current belonging of the brand to the Volkswagen group, but it certainly presents the characteristics for the establishment of a museum or a place of representation. We conclude by quoting a sentence said by Artioli to Ezio, during his last visit: "Nothing could happen in hundred years, but in one day could happen that something that has not happened for hundred years".
Read This in Italian

Join the conversation!

  1. I love abandonned industrial places... There is an eerieness to them. I hadn't realised Bugatti was French originally!

  2. There is some kind of nostalgia upon seeing the pictures! How once a busy industrial buildings are now empty and barren.


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