In 1896 a young Giovanni Luigi Voltan, son of a shoemaker from Stra near Venice, left for America to make his fortune. His journey took him from New York to Chicago and then back to Boston, all of them strongholds of an already mechanized shoe industry, so advanced in fact that shoes were no longer turned out solely by hand;
but rather to a large extent mechanically produced and made in batches. He found work in a large shoe factory, working through all the principal departments. There he acquired the necessary know-how needed to switch from manual to mechanical shoe production, not least in his native Italy.
Pioneer of the Italian Shoe Industry
Quick witted and enthusiastic, the young entrepreneur instantly grasped the economic potential of such production and process chain. It was in America that Luigi Voltan purchased his first machines, before returning in 1898 to Stra, then in the throes of an agricultural crisis. There he opened Italy’s first shoe factory to use mass production methods. And so Luigi Voltan became the
father and initiator of the industrialization of the entire Italian shoe trade. The factory is situated on the banks of the Brenta Canal between Padua and Venice. This region – Riviera del Brenta – is now recognized globally as one of the main hubs of the shoe industry.
Just one year later, Voltan was already selling shoes throughout the entire Region of Northern Italy. In 1904, with his original workshop bursting at the seams, he moved into larger premises, where the firm still operates
from today. By this time Voltan had 400 workers on the payroll, and his production capacity was running at an incredible – by the standards of the time – 1000 pairs of shoes a day.
Yesteryear, Yesterday, Today: The Passion Remains
The firm is run by the same family, now in the third and fourth generation. Giovanni Voltan and his sons, Emanuele and Marco, drive the business with the same passion and dedication to quality that the company was built on over a century ago by their great forebear. You will often find members of the family personally monitoring
quality on the production line. Descendants of the very first generation of employees even still work there, continuing the company’s tradition and heritage. Thus Voltan 1898 is still today, and always will be a family business in every sense of the word.
Tradition Brings Experience
We have never lost sight of the values and aspirations of our founding father, Luigi Voltan: first-class materials, outstanding workmanship, an excellent sense of style with special attention to detail, plus the ability to blend these
into a product that stands out of the rest. Our shoes are light as a down pillow and the last word in comfort, thanks to decades of experience, we know how to cater with exquisite care to the foot’s unique architecture.
Fashion and Tradition in One
As well as comfort and fit, our shoes mirror the style and class of our customers. We place high value on design, producing shoes that are contemporary and fashionable
but timeless. They follow the trends, but with a classic touch, reflecting our history and tradition of quality workmanship and materials.
Made in Italy.
Today and in Years to Come
We firmly believe the quality of our products should be our uppermost priority. To ensure the materials, design and comfort meet our standards we need to be near and connected to our products. For this reason we continue to manufacture our shoes exclusively in Italy. This will remain
our commitment as we build on our heritage and continue Luigi Voltan’s legacy.
Voltan 1898: For More Than a Century Now – Made in Italy.