The former Fornace Penna is a perfect example of industrial architecture dating back to 1912 relative to the sixteen-chamber Hoffmann Kilns. Different types of bricks were produced in the factory.
It was built in the aftermath of the 1908 Messina earthquake, a devastating event whose injured were even cared for in the province of Ragusa, in Scicli.
At that time, brick factories did not follow any particular architectural rules from an aesthetic point of view, but thanks to the work of Engineer Ignazio Emmolo, the first architecturally cared factory was built.
To do so, he left for Germany and studied the facilities, reapplying what he had learned about the needs of the brick production cycle with local limestone. The result was a double row of mullioned windows erected in an extraordinary landscape as a backdrop. Built on the cliffs of Pisciotto, all around were vineyards, sand dunes covered by Mediterranean scrub and the wonderful sea of Sampieri.
Products were prepared by cooking them over fires fueled by pomace, almond shells and other solid fuels, while the fumes produced were drawn from a double-jacketed brick chimney. There were about 100 workers inside and they produced different types of roofing tiles, bricks of various sizes and gutters.
Unfortunately, in 1926, after only 14 years of thriving business, it was destroyed by arson, which made Baron Penna decide not to rebuild it.
Currently, due to speculation of various kinds and to the great constraints imposed, the Penna Furnace is not secured and therefore cannot be exploited as one would like to create a museum center.
On several occasions it has been used as a location in the television series “Il Commissario Montalbano” to which we must give credit for making it known to the rest of the world.