It takes months to cast a bell, and this has been happening for nearly a 1000 years at Pontificia Fonderia di Campane Marinelli, located in the tiny village of Agnone, in Molise, the only surviving foundry in what once used to be a territory of bell makers. Their most ancient bell dates back to 1339 but it is understood that the family had started this craft at least 200 years earlier. Siblings Armando and Pasquale are the descendants of that same family and still run the foundry, using the same materials and crafting techniques, unchanged over time.
Symbols of religious devotion - in 1924 Pope Pious XI granted Marinelli the use of the papal coat of arms – bells are considered holy objects therefore blessed before casting, while their sound resonates through time and memories. A well-made bell has its rules and secrets, mastered through years of meticulous work, its quality determined by balance in size, thickness and weight. Different tonalities, vibrations, notes and rhythms create the unique harmony of a bell’s sound. Popes and Presidents have paid visit to the foundry and Marinelli bells have graced for centuries the bell towers of Italy, and are exported around the world.