The sand makes a high clinking noise as the shards of broken tiles are crushed under your footsteps along the red brick road. The path leads to an abandoned brick and tile factory, known as La Ceramica, that during its heyday in the 1940s and ’50s helped rebuild wartorn Sardinia.
The site consists of two main buildings, the factory and an office, that were shuttered in the 1980s and left forgotten. Piles of red bricks are strewn all around, left behind when the factory was abandoned. Some of them have been smashed and become crimson sand glittering in the sunset, while the light casts long shadows from the broken doors and windows.
Delicate spiral stairs lead to the upper level, which has a firing kiln in the middle and thousands of tiles piled into rows. There are parts of beautiful brick ornaments still on the walls. On the ground level, there are two massive firing tunnels and a tall, empty hall where rainwater-filled pools on the floor reflect the open interior.
In the office building, the shower room is completely demolished and the windows of the offices are sealed with bricks, of course. The walls are covered in graffiti from the past decades: “bum bum bum,” “Pink Floyd,” “Marco and Maria 8/8/1986.” Peacefully buzzing bees have taken over the empty rooms. The sounds of nature are intense, as grasshoppers, insects, and birds are now the only sounds in this empty factory surrounded by fields and forests
Know Before You Go
The path to the factory is closed off with trees and cement walls fallen from the buildings, but there is a slot just big enough to fit through. Be careful on the road leading to the factory as it's full of broken bricks and large stones. About 160 feet before the factory, the rain has created a deep "river" about 3 feet deep in the middle of the path. There is a lot of broken glass and sharp chards at the site, so wear good shoes and watch your step.