[IT] Oculus Tower

The History

In 1935, an alcohol manufacturing company obtained from the Italian government the permission to set up a chemical plant, after which a special industrial zone was created in this area in 1936. Equipped with roads, railways, canals and dockyards, the area was soon occupied by new industries, mainly chemical and agrochemical. In 1939, a synthetic rubber factory, a first for Italy, was set up with operations beginning in 1942. However, due to repeated air bombings by the Allied Forces in 1944, the site was partially destroyed.

After the war the synthetic rubber factory never went back to operation after the forced stop in 1944 but the alcohol distillery decided to resume. By 1953, the site was the largest alcohol distillery in all of Italy. In 1967, the distillery was taken over by another company, and at this time the distillery accounted 37% of the whole national production of ethanol with a capacity of 23,000,000 of l/y, plus 18,000 t/y of yeast and 5,500 t/y of carbon dioxide. In 1976 the daily capacity of 100,000 l was possible, and by 1990, 220,000 l/d was produced.

Fully dependant on the national (and local) sugar industry, the distillery faced a significant decline from the early 2000s. The site changed hands several times during the 2000s, with the site planned to be converted to bio-ethanol production in 2005. However, the project never went operational due to the drastic cut of Italian sugar refineries caused by a UE directive (EC 320/2006) and thus the site was abandoned in 2007.

The Explore

Driving around for about 20 mins to find a suitable point to park, I ended up parking near an abandoned apartment complex and hopping the huge hole in the fence and into the site. Skipping the empty warehouses to the east, I headed straight for the tower. Climbing to the top and hoping the crumbling concrete didn’t fail underneath my feet, I got my photos and quickly left before vertigo took hold. Moving on to the old turbine powerplant, this building was mostly empty with all the wires stolen for copper. The final building held mostly the offices and labs, which were still stocked with paperwork and chemicals. On the way out, I bumped into a local who was visiting the site. No idea what he planned to do there as he didn’t appear to be an urbexer but each to their own, I guess.

The Photos

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.