WIT Press

A Geodatabase Of Ancient Spinning Mills In Villa S. Giovanni And Cannitello (Calabria, Italy)


Free (open access)





Page Range

261 - 271




2,987 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


L. Battaglia, G. Rudi


Cataloging the cultural heritage, architectural artifacts, and material remains of ancient buildings and monuments is an important tool for preservation, restoration and comprehension of the history of architecture. With such knowledge it is possible to recreate the appearance of an environment, the evolution and transformations it has undergone through the ages, and to define the best practices for its preservation. In the 18th century, Calabria (Southern Italy) was one of the richest industrial territories in Italy, with a tremendous diversity in manufacturing: agricultural and food-based industries (in particular olive oil and citrus production); spinning mills; iron and steel mills and foundries. Then over recent years, as elsewhere, this region has suffered from the effects of deindustrialization and most of its industrial heritage is now demolished or left to ruin. The paper focuses on representative ancient spinning mills, realized during the 18th and 19th century in Villa S. Giovanni and Cannitello, a city famous in the past for silkworm breeding and for its numerous spinning mills. The research studies the places of production processes and the archaeological traces survived to urban changes, through the collection of archive documents. This paper also aims to demonstrate the potentiality of digital technologies – like the Geographic Information System (GIS) – in cataloguing and classification (instead of the use of traditional methods) and to present a GeoDatabase of the industrial heritage in Calabria. All the information resources regarding the Calabrian Industrial heritage (such as: ancient maps, old pictures, blueprints, sketches) and text data, have been pulled together and georeferenced on a GIS system. The use of digital and virtual technologies and the creation of the GeoDatabase, will help to investigate, enhance and even ’rescue’ these historic sites and monuments which are unique in the panorama of Italian industrial heritage.


industrial heritage, spinning mills, Cannitello, Calabria, cataloging, geodatabase, GIS