A valley of opportunities
The origins of the house of Busatti, a store in Anghiari
In 1755 the Busatti family arrived in Anghiari from Valdarno, from Laterina, where there still is a chapel which bears witness to their presence In the territory. Thanks to the Gran Dukes of Tuscany, the high Tiber valley became a fertile and populated plain full of new opportunities. The Busatti family purchased and refurbished an old oven within the town castle walls after a few years they opened another one in the area which was to become “il mercatale” the market outside of the castle walls.
Dressing Napoleon soldiers
Giovan Battista, son of Niccolò Busatti, purchased Palazzo Morgalanti, still today headquarters of the firm, and opened a store in 1795. At the store he sells a bit of everything: foodstuffs (cold cuts, haddock, anchovies), yarn, bread and anything marketable. In historical documents we learn that he is generous and routinely lends money to the people of the village. The turning point came in 1797 when the soldiers of the Napoleonic Army, guided by General Gaultier arrive. They settle themselves at the top story of the Palazzo Morgalanti Busatti’s house and then in the basement they start wool production (spinning, weaving) to supply blankets, uniforms and clothes to the soldiers. Little by little they use all five floors of the Palazzo.
Birth of Busatti weaving mill
When the Napoleonic occupation ended, the Busatti family took back the Palazzo and with it, their weaving operation
In 1899, Giovan Battista, moves to the Santa Croce area with his wife and first born son, Mario, who arrived in 1800. In 1815, after the Napoleonic Era, the Busatti family takes possession of their workshop/house and, with the backing of the Grand Duke, they shift from being merchants to spinner artisans. This is recorded in the Grand Duke of Tuscany General Atlas around 1820.
Mario Busatti, the founder
For years the weaving plant sits idle. Then, in 1842 Mario Busatti puts in eight wooden looms in this workshop, plus a warping machine. He hires ten weavers, This is the official date of the establishment of the Busatti weaving mill. Mario introduces wooden equipment in addition to some that are cast iron, which he bought from the Ruti company in Switzerland. He also introduces the production of hemp (cannabis sativa) as well as cotton. These new looms can make up to one and one half yard wide cloths, compared to the only one yard wide standard domestic looms of the day. This gives Busatti a strong advantage in business.
Busatti at the time of Risorgimento
The women of the house of Busatti manage business at the time of Garibaldi
Mario Busatti gave his all to the business and when he passed away, in 1868, his sons Giovan Battista, Angelo and Giuseppe take over the company. It is time of the Risorgimento (the Italian Unification) and only Giuseppe continues to work in and run the company with his brothers wives.One of Giovan Battista’s sons Gregorio, who wants to learn the business, travels for over a year throughout Europe, stopping in Vienna, Berlin, Paris and Austria.
An air of renewal
After learning the art of tailoring , Gregorio comes back to the business and establishes a workroom that, in a short time, becomes well-known and is spoken of highly in the province of Arezzo. Gregorio goes to the town of Arezzo to personally tailor suits for the best ateliers. Unfortunately, he catches pneumonia which causes his death at the tender age of 35. This tragic event leaves Giuseppe in charge of Busatti, who encounters great difficulties heading the business. His son, Livio, will lead Busatti to is greatest heights ever.
Busatti during war time
Two World Wars, devastating to Italy, do not stop production and Busatti actually enjoys a time of great expansion
Livio, a very devote person, has to leave Busatti for a time to serve Italy in the Great War. His wife, Romilda is entrusted with running the business along with the faithful Foscolo. Busatti starts supplying convents, hospices, ecclesiastic boarding schools as well as hospitals. Also included are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Army. We have a saying in regards to the uniforms produced for the Great War, “Our uniforms have been to war on the Carso, in San Michele and in Sabotino and have followed the soldier underground, fully sharing his destiny”.
Livio, pioneer of “work at home”
After the second World War sales grow and retails stores are opened in the High Tiber Valley, eventually totaling eight. In addition to Anghiari, there are stores in Sansepolcro, Città di Castello. Pieve Santo Stefano, Perugia and Umbertide. Livio hears from his fellow countrymen that they are not happy that their wives have to leave home and come to work in the factory. Ever the innovator, he builds over 100 looms and delivers them to the homes of his women workers who live in the valley. This allows the housewives to “work at home”. Forever remembering his benefactor make-up, Livio has Busatti engage in large productions for charitable and religious institutions. This creates more success !
The years of change
As times change and large orders decrease, Busatti reinvents itself as a niche company
After World War II ends and all of Italy is restarting, Busatti finds it must also do so. Livio seriously ill, dies during this period. His son-in-law, Cesare, passes away during this same period at only the age of 50. It was Cesare who coined the motto, “we supply everyone from the countryman to the Count”. Cesare’s wife, Francesca, finds herself in charge of Busatti, alone, with eight children, the oldest of whom is twenty, and he weight of the world on her shoulders.
Produce less, but aiming for excellence of the product and expand to new markets
Though Italy is becoming successful and is experiencing an economic boom, the house of Busatti struggles to find its proper place and worth. Without a lot of family discussion and not needing to bring up how important the legacy of Busatti has become, a completely new approach is undertake. In 1970, Giovanni and his sister Elena guide the company, along with their mother, Francesca and a new general manager, Aldo Capaccini. They devote their attention to limited production, high quality raw materials and painstaking detail, all the while returning to the great tradition. It is a winning choice!
Market expansion and growth of the web introduces Busatti to new countries
Since 2000, the clients of Busatti have changed significantly. In numbers as well as in make-up. We now count among our clients worldwide prominent names, people with high sensibilities and good taste, who are at the same time demanding of high quality. Yet we still count as our clients the countrymen from around the world. These people all, while geographically far apart, all share this concept of beauty and quality that we pass across our Italian borders.
A brand well-know, that can renew itself without renouncing family tradition, will not only be respected but will live and flourish forever
The operative creed for Busatti is to produce the tradition of that part of Italy that lies in the heart of Tuscany and Umbria. That tradition exclusively uses natural fibers and designs inspired by the heart and soul of the Renaissance and its rustic traditions, and mixes them with a vast range of colors. Today, the family operation is being led by their eight generation and has stores on all five continents. Many are owned, others through franchising.
We are like a cypress, which pushes its roots deep while pointing clearly to the sky. Busatti has roots deep in the history of our country as we point ever upward to new horizons.