The cotton mill Cotonificio Olcese has been based in Piancogno ˗ a small village in the Italian province of Brescia, in the Camonica valley ˗ since it was founded at the beginning of the 20th century by the Milan-born businessman Vittorio Olcese.
Since the very beginning, the company’s history has been intertwined with the Camonica valley’s. In fact, many of the people who worked at Olcese came from the little villages nearby in the valley. Their number increased significantly over the years, so much so that the company’s growth had to go hand in hand with the building of houses in the area all around the mill to host the company’s workers and their families.
This led to the creation of an almost-autonomous microcosm, a unique example of worker village in the history of the Camonica valley.
Since its foundation in 1904, Olcese cotton mill has been through some of the most important historical events of the 20th century ˗ the two world wars, the economic boom of the 1950s, the big economic changes in Italy and globally -
but all the same it has been able to survive and has now become one of the main leaders in the international cotton industry.