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Giovanni Battista Pirelli. Educational Journey Abroad, 1870-1871 Diary.

At the end of his studies, after graduating from the Milan Politecnico, Giovanni Battista Pirelli in 1870 went on a one-year study trip around the industrial Europe of that time, seeking an impetus which could drive Italy too towards the frontier of development.

At the end of his journey Pirelli became convinced that it was time to go down new roads and he abandoned the original idea of becoming involved in an area now mature, such as that of silk. He was thus to become an entrepreneur of the “second industrial revolution”, working within the cycle of technological innovation right from the outset.

The Pirelli company, set up in 1872, was thus the product of the effort of creating a new enterprise, in which entrepreneurial skills and technological experimentation merged in a single project. Pirelli’s diary offers the remarkable testimony of the preparation of an entrepreneur and, at the same time, empirical confirmation of the value of training human capital as a resource for the growth of the company.

Giovanni Battista Pirelli.
Viaggio di istruzione all’estero. Diario 1870-1871

Edited by Francesca Polese, published by Saggi Marsilio, 2003.