Armando e Pasquale Marinelli
The Pontificia Fonderia Marinelli, located in Agnone, in the province
of Isernia, is the oldest foundry in Italy, and one of the oldest in
the world, specialised in the casting of bells.
Of the many family-owned bell-foundries formerly in Agnone, the Pontificia Fonderia Marinelli is the only one to survive, for eight centuries passing down the ancient art from father to son.
In 1924, Pope Pius XI granted the Marinelli family the privilege of using the papal coat of arms.
In 1999, the John Paul II Historic Bell Museum opened its doors next to the foundry, displaying historic bells such as the Gothic bell, which according to tradition was founded one thousand years ago in Agnone. The museum also has a collection of designs, manuscripts, old documents and rare texts, such as the 1664 Dutch edition of De Tintinnabulis, considered the bible of the bell-founding art.
Thanks to their experience, skill and remarkable level of specialisation, the Marinelli family are considered the greatest experts not only in the art of bellfounding and founding in general, but also with regard to belfry architecture. The family is known for its work with internationally famous architects and designers, who call on the Marinelli family for their advice and on-site inspections before designing a new belfry or proceeding with the restoration of historic towers.
Awards and Honours
Pope Pius XI granted the Marinelli family the privilege of using the papal coat of arms.
Then president of Italy, Luigi Einaudi, awarded the Marinelli family a highly prestigious gold medal “to the oldest company for its activity and dedication to work at the national level”.