What if I tell you that you can find a lost world right in the middle of a modern and lively city? The Leumann village is a working-class neighborhood in the municipality of Collegno, near Turin, which looks like a fairytale village. Napoleon Leumann, an important entrepreneur of Swiss origin, decided to build it at the end of the nineteenth century. The purpose was that of hosting the workers of the cotton mill that Leumann was about to establish. The village is a wonderful example of industrial building completely integrated into the surrounding area.
How to reach it
Go to Via Sacchi, near Porta Nuova Station, Turin. Here you can take buses number 33 or
33 (In Italian it is called 33 barrato, crossed out). Once you reach Corso Francia, step out and take the bus number 36. It will stop you in front of the village, where the small Leumann station is located. Right in front of you, you will see the village. Remember to buy a ticket before getting on the bus or you might get fined.
Napoleon Leumann wanted a residential complex around his cotton mill. The large and prestigious company of the time needed a place for the people who worked there and their families. The Swiss entrepreneur commissioned the engineer and architect Pietro Fenoglio this residential complex realized between 1875 and 1907. Fenoglio is one of the most representatives of the Italian Liberty style.
Reminiscence of a lost world
A plot of over 60,000 square meters hosts the entire residence. It included sixty buildings divided into 120 residential units and everything a community could need. In fact, you can still see the Church of Santa Elisabetta, in its typical eclectic style.
Next to the church there is a primary school for the children of the cotton mill workers. All around you can admire beautiful houses.
Behind the church, you will still notice the remains of an artificial canal. This had to serve as water supply both for the factory and for the community.
After the crisis of the 1970s, the Leumann cotton mill closed. At this point, the worst was feared for this splendid residential complex.
Fortunately, the buildings became a property of the municipality of Collegno. The municipality acted as guarantor for the safeguarding of this village. The remaining houses were assigned to families according to the rules of public housing.
What can you find today
Cotton mill former workers still live here. Other families came here in more recent periods.
Once you arrive here, you can immediately notice the ancient train station. It is located on the opposite side of Corso Francia. Moreover, you will also stumble upon the post office. Those who live in the neighborhood still use the latter
The village hosts Intrend Diffusione Tessile, a factory outlet. Here you can find famous brands such as Max Mara, Max and Co, Marina Rinaldi, where you can buy clothes, shoes and accessories of the past collections at incredible prices.