The MILS is located in a historic industrial warehouse with its characteristic shed roof; it was made available by the Ferrovie Nord Milano, a regional railways company. The museum bears witness to some of the more prestigious histories of the Italian industry. The first sections of the museum were inaugurated on October 25th, 1998; over the years the space of the museum was extended up to the today’s structure of 2,200 sqm of which 800 sqm  indoor and 1,400 sqm open-air. The central nucleus of the museum heritage is  represented by a broad collection of train engines and other railways rolling stock (rail cars and passenger cars) of the Ferrovie Nord Milano (in the open air) together with a rich set of railway objects and instruments located in the indoor area. This interesting heritage can be considered a rare example of collection of historical materials related to regional railways in Italy.

The MILS  covered area displays machinery, instruments, equipment, and documents of most important industrial enterprises operating in Saronno from the 1850s on and established at a national level; they are a precious testimony of the industrial civilization between 19th and 20th century.

The heritage includes:

  • the manufacturing equipment of late nineteenth century of the first biscuit factory in Italy that was established by the Lazzaroni family;
  • finds of the electromechanical industry (e.g. the rich collection of radio and TV sets of FIMI Phonola);
  • the section of the mechanical industry with the engines produced by Isotta Fraschini together with a restored tank used in the battle of El Alamein in Africa (1942), the wheels of the Gianetti, the safes manufactured by the Parma firm including the precious encasement of the golden altarpiece of the St. Ambrogio church in Milano, objects and photos of the CEMSA, established in Saronno as subsidiary of a German company and devoted to the manufacturing of locomotives;
  • the section related to the textile industry with the interesting finds of the Poss cotton factory, of the fabric dying plant of De Angeli Frua and of the old Menning & Torley face workshop.

The Museum represents an exceptional compendium of relevant industrial case histories and harmonizes them with the history of the local territory.

The Museum is a private, non-profit-making institution and lives thanks to the active contribution of its volunteers who are former employees of the represented companies and then as such capable to offer the visitors a direct witness of their past  work.

The MILS is recognized as museum collection (decision of the Regional Council of November 5th, 2004)  and in 2018 it was recognized as  an entity carrying out activities of regional importance for education and cultural promotion (decree # 3740 dated March 16th, 2018 of the Lombardy Region).

Via Don Griffanti, 6 – 21047 Saronno (VA)
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