Exploration #191. The zuccherificio di Granaiolo¬†began its activity in 1899, a period when many similar industrial plants were opened in Italy to process sugar beet for the production of refined sugar. Also part of the complex was a small chemical laboratory, the director’s building and some housing for employees.

The sugar produced by this factory, perhaps thanks to the goodness of the water from the Elsa river used in the production of the beet, was of excellent quality that it was apparently also destined for the Vatican. The factory produced sugar in crystal form or in lumps. Molasses, a by-product of processing, was destined for the confectionery industry. The lumps, a by-product of processing, were used as animal feed.
As in all sugar factories, the processing campaign lasted three to four months, during which time the process was carried out in a continuous cycle in three shifts to ensure that the processed product did not solidify and damage the machinery. During the rest of the year, only maintenance and plant preparation operations were carried out. Many people from all over the neighbouring countries worked in the sugar factory, often the farmers themselves.
The zuccherificio di granaiolo sugar factory stopped production with the last campaign in 1971, due to the fact that the production technology was no longer up to date.
The building, now empty, still retains all its grandeur, a vast, very high room with arched windows throughout, almost reminiscent of a Gothic cathedral.
The complex is now in a state of abandonment after several redevelopment projects failed.