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. It was built at the end of the nineteenth century at the behest of Napoleon Leumann, an important entrepreneur of Swiss origin. 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 bus 33 or
33 (In Italian it is called 33 barrato, crossed out). Once you reach Corso Francia, take bus 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. By the way, remember to buy a ticket before getting on the bus.
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 an 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, an artificial canal was built in order to bring water both for the factory and for the community.
After the crisis of the 1970s, the Leumann cotton mill closed and 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
The village is still inhabited by former workers of the cotton mill. Other families came here in more recent periods.
You can see the ancient train station and the post office, which is still used today.
The village hosts Intrend Diffusione Tessile, a factory outlet. Here you can find brands such as Max Mara, Max and Co, Marina Rinaldi at incredible prices.