Less than a century ago, many Italian communities still relied on communal wood fired ovens to cook. These ovens embodied family and community spirit, but during the Second World War most were destroyed.
The Italian government turned to Sylvio Valoriani, a specialist in refractory clay, to design an oven that could be quickly assembled to replace the ovens. Sylvio was the president of Refrattari Reggello, which was established in 1890. His solution was to produce family-sized wood fired ovens, handmade from terracotta clay quarried from the hills of Tuscany. These new ovens were easy to build, far more fuel-efficient and had great heat retention.
Today, Sylvio’s design is recognised as the original Italian wood fired oven, and his family still make them by hand in Tuscany.