Today Bellano’s main source of income is the service sector. However, in the last century, the local author Antonio Balbiani rightfully called it the “little Manchester on the Lario” given its large textile plants (Gavazzi, Cotonificio Cantoni, Lanificio Rossi).
In 1859 the Badoni of Lecco took over a rolling-mill set at the foot of the Orrido to exploit the enormous flow of water. Later Eugenio Cantoni rented the existing mill and started his spinning works. In 1868 a full 8600 spindles were running and a home for the workers was built in piazza San Giorgio. In 1898, after a disastrous fire, the plant was rebuilt along with a new home for the employees, called the Convitto. The site had more than a thousand employees coming from all towns within the area.
Today the only thing that remains of this great industrial development is the large Cantoni plant made of Moltrasio stone in Via Roma, an extraordinary example of industrial archaeology.
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