Trip hammers for working metal
Working metal with trip hammers is a very old activity in the Nure Valley, connected to exploitation of the iron mines in the upper Nure valley. These mines have been worked since the times of the Visconti. In 1336 trade involved wool, skins and hides, arms and war equipment, all contributing to increasing the importance of Piacenza in this field. The ferrarezza duty was paid to the camera ducale.
After 1574, under the rule of the Farnese, the Nicelli bought the mines and began systematic exploitation. The area of the mines was called the “Ferrea” and was said to be rich in metals like copper, silver and gold. The fact is, though, that these metals have never been found.
To extract the iron (in the area of Ferriere) a great deal of wood and charcoal was needed, produced in the forests on the surrounding mountains. Mules were used for transport.
There were trip hammers for copper at Folignano and at Albarola, while trip hammers for iron were found at Riva, at Ponte di Albarola and at Carmiano. A small arms factory was attached to the trip hammer of Carmiano. Ironmongery and nails were produced here up until the 20th century.