Historical and didactic themed areas

The CID, Centro Informazione Documentazione (Documentary Information Centre) is where most of Torviscosa’s documentary heritage is stored and the Centre’s aim is to control and organise its use. Part of the material preserved, including archive documents, photos, patents, designs, building plans, maps and models, has been used to create a multimedia exhibition with themed areas that can also be the basis for educational workshops.

Initial fundamental historic research has provided a historic overview that is vital for understanding the reasons for which Torviscosa was founded, and concentrates on three themes:

  • The economy, with specific reference to autarky
  • The local area, with specific reference to the agricultural policy of the Fascist period and to land reclamation
  • Urban development, with specific reference to the theme of “città di fondazione” – planned communities – created during the Fascist period

This early activity produced an exhibition entitled “La battaglia del grano. Autarchia, bonifiche, città nuove” (The Battle for Grain. Autarky, land reclamation and new towns), also organised thanks to the contribution of numerous private individuals who loaned paintings, sculptures and original posters of the era to the exhibition.

A specific section is dedicated to the history of Torviscosa and, in particular, to its urban development, with drawings by planner Giuseppe De Min, town planning schemes of the ’40s and ’50s and a large model showing the town in the mid-‘60s. The screening rooms show historical films, including one filmed during the opening of the plant in 1938 with Mussolini present and a short film by Michelangelo Antonioni “Sette canne, un vestito” (Seven Reeds for a Dress) from 1949. Another section presents documents related to the “Poema di Torre Viscosa”, a poem celebrating the birth of this new town by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, rediscovered in 2014 at the Beinecke Library at Yale University.

The basement floor is completely dedicated to the industrial undertaking. There are 26 large models (4 – 10 m2) on display showing the SNIA plants in Italy in the late 1950s, scale models of plants and photos taken for SNIA Viscosa from the ’30s to the ’60s.