Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

Every once in a while and old artifact shows up or is rediscovered. Such is the case of the antique furnace that is along the road that leads from San Fabiano to the observatory of the Torre di Luciana.

We are in the countryside between Mercatale and the woods of Testalepre. After a few hundred meters along an unpaved road, facing the Fattoria di Castelvari, a partially crumbled ruin pops into site.

It may look like an old house in ruins, but you can note a certain conical form. Part of it is blackened by smoke, almost appearing to be an enormous fireplace.

It is actually a small furnace, that was probably used until the 1940s to obtain mortar from “pietre forti” with a high content of calcium carbonate, easily found in the zone.

After filling the furnace from above, the fire was continuously fed by wood and fagots , placed in the mouth of the furnace from above.


Once the lime was cooked, the furnace was allowed to cool off for a couple of days. The material was then transported by wagon to the appropriate deposits.

These furnaces were useful for the maintenance of the farm (for farm houses for example), and the larger ones could produce bricks and roof eaves.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to find these furnaces today. It would be nice, while we are in time, to be able to rediscover them and give them new life.

They represent a real memory of our land: of lives, work and family.

Antonio Taddei