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Allegrini 2018

SIX ITALIAN COMPANIES AMONG THE TEN OLDEST FAMILY-RUN BUSINESSES IN THE WORLD. ITALY TAKES SECOND PLACE AND THE LIST INCLUDES TWO TUSCANS: BARONE RICASOLI AND MARCHESI ANTINORI. THE LIST MADE BY THE AMERICAN MAGAZINE ‘FAMILY BUSINESS’

Among the ten oldest family-run enterprises in the world, six of them are actually Italian, of which two are winemakers: the Tuscans Barone Ricasoli and Marchesi Antinori. Italy also gets the silver medal for the second oldest company in the world according to the American magazine ‘Family Business’.

Below, are the top ten oldest family-run businesses in the world:

1 - Hoshui Onsen (Japan, 718)

2 - Pontificia Fonderia Marinelli (Italy, 1000)

3 - Chateau de Goulaine (France, 1000)

4 - Barone Ricasoli (Italy, 1141)

5 - Barovier & Toso (Italy, 1295)

6 - Hotel Pilgrim Haus (Germany, 1304)

7 - Richard de Bas (France, 1326)

8 - Torrini Firenze (Italy, 1369)

9 - Marchesi Antinori (Italy, 1385)

10 - Camuffo (Italy, 1438)



There are also other Italian family-run enterprises that appear on the larger top 100 list: 12 - Grazia Deruta (1500); 13 - Fabbrica d’armi Pietro Beretta (1526); 31 - Cartiera Mantovana (1615); 82 - Amarelli Fabbrica di Liquirizia (1731); 83 - Fratelli Piacenza (1733); 88 - Fonderia Daciano Colbachini (1745); 94 - Conte (1757).
The oldest company in absolute was the Japanese company Kongo Gumi that began constructing Buddhist temples in 578. However, it was eaten up by a larger company in 2006, the construction giant Takamatsu and now, in fact, the updated list has given the top spot to the thermal resort, Houshi Onsen that, according to legend, was founded by a Buddhist monk at the spot indicated by his god at Mount Hakusan in 718.

The Italian companies may have a less holy beginning but they still beat all other countries in number, which is also significant. And the Ponitificia Fonderia Marinelli, which holds second place, created in 1000 in Isernia, is actually a company that has long constructed the bells for the Pope. Today, it still uses the same ancient techniques and its bells are used across the globe, from New York to Beijing, Jerusalem, and South American. There are 20 employees who belong to the business, five of whom are still part of the Marinelli family that started it.
The next long-running family business arrives fourth on the list with Barone Ricasoli, the historic wine and olive oil producer that began production in Siena in 1141. Immediately following this is the Venetian glass maker Barovier & Toso of Murano, founded in 1295. Going further down the list, there are two Florentine companies: Torrini, the jewelry producers who started in 1369, and Antinori, in ninth place, who have been making wine since 1385. The tenth place position goes to the Camuffo di Portogruaro boat construction company that began production in the Venetian port of Kahnià in Crete in 1438, making boats that were even sold to Napoleon and the Venetian Republic.

After the top ten, twelfth place goes to Grazia Deruta, a ceramic company that opened its doors in Turin in 1500. Then, it’s not until the thirty-first spot that another Italian company appears: the paper company from Mantua founded in 1615 by the Marenghi family. The rest of the historic family-run businesses were all opened during the 1700’s: Amarelli liquorice in 1731, Fratelli Piacenza di Pollona in the province of Biella (1733), Daciano Colbachini of Padua (1745), and Conte di Schio (1757).

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