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Former distillery Si ‘e Boi

The plaza Si’e boi, perhaps the most popular one in Selargius, takes its name from one of first and most prosperous industrial activities of the town in the early 1900s: the distillery of Sebastiano Boi.

In 1901, Boi, a lawyer from Cagliari purchased a house and some lands from a wealthy merchant. Together with those already in his possession, he formed the area where the factory was to be planted. Among the few sources available, to find out about the history of the distillery there is a postcard that shows the establishment from above from the time between 1901 -1908. Around the central courtyard, where the main distillery was located with the rectangular section chimney, there are other parts of the factory on the three sides. A postcard was created to advertise “the great steam distillery” as a prosperous and modern company projected for export (it had representations in the most important Italian cities). The company was also equipped with a phone line and trams for the transport of goods and modern column distillers. After a few years, the independent company went public. Established by public act in 1911 in the name of Vinalcool where Boi was the president and Amsicora Capra was the managing director (with effective executive power).

In a short time, despite the difficulties from the war and the economic and social uncertainties of the first twenty years of the century, the company had an extraordinary expansion. After Selargius, the factory also opened up in Quartu, Monserrato and Pirri. A few deposits were also open in Genova, Barletta, Rome and Palermo. A fleet of six sailing ships and three steamships were also built to guarantee export to thirteen Italian ports. Thanks to the acquisition of the property of a steam tramway, and creating the Tramidano del Campidano, the production was expanded to include cut wines, fine wines, liquors and beer (from 1912 with the acquisition of Ichnusa brewery).

During the conflict, the factory in Selargius was requisitioned by the army and its premises were used as accommodations for troops, depots, repair shops for aircraft. A machine gun, still visible today, was mounted on the top of the tower. According to sources, in 1952 the plants were still inactive for some time and were used for washing wool, drying the hides or as deposits for almonds and cereals.

Some attempts to relaunch failed, and the complex was left to degradation and vandalism until in 1975, when the administration recognized the importance of the historic site. The premises where the factory once stood have been recovered and now serves as a theater, children’s library, elderly council and information point.

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