There is a unique attraction near Bergamo called Crespi d’Adda, which is a nineteenth century factory and model village. It was built to meet all of the workers needs – from birth, in the company hospital, to burial in the company cemetery, with needs in between those two being supplied by buildings such as the church, grocery and baths.
There are two features of the town that make it particularly interesting.
The first is the extraordinary architecture, which includes a castle for the owner to live in, a factory main entrance like an industrial temple and the owner’s huge family tomb, described as ‘a decorated tower-pyramid of exotic taste and eclectic style’.
The second is the fact that the place is not empty – descendants of the original workforce still live and work there. They are no longer employees of the company (it went bust in the early twentieth century). The place is now run by the Associazione Culturale Villaggio Crespi, a non-profit association. They can give you a guided tour in English, possibly while Bergamo is resting in the middle of the day.
Because of its location, Crespi d’Addo is probably difficult to reach by any means other than car.
The official website is Villaggio Crespi