Farewell to Vittoriano Bitossi, founder of Colorobbia Group

Vittoriano Bitossi

Vittoriano Bitossi, founder and guiding light of Gruppo Colorobbia since the end of the second world war, died on 17 January at the age of 94.

Born in 1923 in Montelupo Fiorentino, Bitossi began his entrepreneurial journey in 1940 at the age of just 17 when the untimely death of his father forced him to break off his studies and take the helm of the family business Manifattura Maioliche Artistiche Guido Bitossi. In 1947 he oversaw the transition between artisanship and industry with the foundation of the Della Robbia (later Colorobbia) ceramic colour and glaze producer. The company became part of the Italian tile industry and in the mid-1950s opened a factory in Fiorano Modenese.

Right from the start of his entrepreneurial activity, Vittoriano Bitossi identified a number of key factors for success and industrial expansion: direct sourcing of raw materials, product and process innovation, and the ability to cover all industrial and artistic ceramic sectors. He received numerous awards and honours, including the title of Knight of Labour (1998), the Aldo Villa Award from the Italian Ceramic Society (2001), the Salomone d’Oro Award from the University of Florence (2004) and the title of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2014). In 2008 a foundation named after him was set up to promote an awareness of the cultural history of ceramics and chemistry, an initiative that will be supported by the opening of the Bitossi Industrial Art Museum by the end of 2018.

The community of Montelupo Fiorentino and the entire business world remember him as a selfless man who used his wealth to make new investments in his businesses and in the local area. In almost 70 years of success, outstanding business ideas and courageous initiatives, Vittoriano Bitossi built a thriving group made up of 27 companies with 2,000 employees in 18 countries worldwide. One of the most important teachings he leaves to posterity is that of “trust in the future”.