“Ferrania was the pride of the valley. In the early sixties it provided work for about 4,000 people, and a further 2,500 indirectly”, recounts, with a touch of nostalgia, Alessandro Bechis, ex-employee of the factory and President of the Ferrania Film Museum Association.
For two generations, the company represented much more than just a traditional workplace, embodying the typical traits of the inclusive town/factory, providing workers with housing, a cafeteria, recreational clubs, places for leisure activities, a cinema and a library. The consciousness of this grandeur was symbolically reflected in the Ferrania red neon sign (after Ferrania 3M). Installed in 1962, it was 36 metres long, with the letter F seven metres high, and they say it could be even seen from the highway.
Acquired by the American multi-national 3M in 1964, Ferrania included in its real estate assets also the Riserva Naturalistica dell’Adelasia – a sort of compensatory contribution in a highly industrialised area –, a beautiful private expanse of nature in the Bormida Valley of the Cairo Montenotte area, taken over in the early 2000s by the province of Savona. A green lung of the Ligurian Ponente, home to wild animals and monumental trees, a sort of biodiversity paradise. And, therefore, an ideal place for an excursion or a short day trip to discover a Liguria almost forgotten.