The great Italian dams in 100 antique photos


Huge works, apparently impossible efforts, workers, technicians and engineers who made history. It has the features of a great epic, the exhibition "Men, Machines and Dams - A century of hydropower work narrated through pictures, drawings and antique objects", organised by Enel and the Milan Polytechnic at the latter’s Department of Energy.

A hundred vintage photographs taken at dell’Ossola Valley (Piedmont), so far unpublished, exhibited from 23 May to 16 June for the first Sustainable Development Festival: the initiative is curated by the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASVIS), with the aim of promoting in Italy the 17 objectives (SDGs) set in the UN Agenda 2030.

From Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm, at building BL27 of Via Lambruschini 4 in Milan (Campus Bovisa), visitors can retrace the crucial phases that have led to the construction, last century, of the great dams and plants. Through the photos they will identify with the workers, technicians and engineers who, challenging the natural laws of nature, gave the country a new era of progress and well-being.

Curator Andrea Cannata, head of Enel’s Verampio plants, was in charge of the reconstruction: besides vintage photos, the exhibition includes the original maps of the projects and the work tools belonging to the personnel involved in the construction of the Morasco, Agaro and Sabbione dams.

 "There is no better place than the Polytechnic to propose this exhibition", said Mario Sciolla, Enel's electrical production manager for Piedmont. "Men have been central for the construction of these dams: many of them were workers from Valdossola, but those who designed these works mostly came from the Milan Polytechnic. The circle closes."