The tradition of cotto dates back thousands of years, and is the result of the subtle alchemy between water, earth, and fire. The Fornace Brioni in Gonzaga, a small town centre steeped in history and Renaissance culture in the plain around Mantua, produces cotto exclusively by hand, according to a savoir-faire that has been handed down through the generations, using the finest clays from the slow sedimentation of the floodplain of the River Po.

The company was founded in 1920, following the acquisition of the so-called “Fornacione” (that according to certain documents still stands on its original location of 1883). This family-run company is now in its fourth generation, headed by Alessio and Alberto Brioni, who are planning the future of cotto maintaining their strong link with the past. Fornace Brioni was already a leader in the renovation of old flooring, and has over the years carried out constant research on the potential of this material that it produces in several versions, ranging from uniform and variegated cotto to glazed versions, in red and pink, and even grey and black to meet more contemporary tastes. Due to this prospect of development, the Brioni brothers have hired architect Cristina Celestino to direct the design department of the brand, from 2017.