Pietro Valoriani, the great-grandfather of the current owner, Massimo, founded a ‘fornace’ (furnace) in the Florentine area countryside of Figline Valdarno in 1890. Fate led Pietro’s son, Gino Valoriani, to the town of Reggello, around 20km southeast of Florence, where he discovered one of the best refractory clay quarries in Italy. Gino quickly realised the incredible qualities of the quarry’s unique ‘cotto clay’, which contained just the right amount of alumina to fire refractory brick to perfection. Skills in building wood-fired ovens from refractory brick had been lost during the war, but this proved the catalyst for Gino’s son, Silvio, to design and build the first pre-fabricated wood-fired oven. This dome-shaped oven was beautifully proportioned, had amazing culinary equilibrium and a robust structure formed of the incredible ‘cotto’ clay, which made it stand head and shoulders above any other. Having this design enabled the Valoriani family to start manufacturing pre-built wood-fired ovens that was sold to the domestic market and now globally.