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Aldo Netti

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Aldo Netti (Narni, 1st January 1869 – Rome, 15th July 1925) was an engineer, entrepreneur and Italian politician.

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Early Life

Aldobrando Netti (called Aldo) was born in Stifone, a small village of Narni, Italy, on the 1st January 1869 to parents Pietro Netti and Maria Foschi. Aldo's father was a humble farmer who owned a mill at Stifone, hydraulically powered by the local river Nera, and his mother was an enthusiastic and tenacious woman. Aldo's upbringing surrounded by his father's mill and the natural power that could be yielded from the river, turning grain into flour, was a non-casual introduction to his future industrial career. As was common back then, Aldo was forced to leave school at the age of 12, but continued to self-study while working for his father.

He managed to attend the local technical institute in Terni (Istituto Tecnico di Terni) thanks to a scholarship award and later attended a higher polytechnic in Milan (Istituto Superiore Politecnico di Milano), receiving a degree in Industrial Engineering in 1891.


On the 11th November 1892, only one year after his degree, he opened a small hydroelectric power-station in Stifone (Officina idroelettrica del Comune di Narni). This signaled the start of a frenetic period of activity in his career to become a leading pioneer of hydroelectric energy, bringing electricity to over 130 localities in Umbria and nearby Lazio.[2]

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Aldo’s first large hydroelectric power station was built in Orvieto, followed by Spoleto, which was built at Marmora Falls (Cascata delle Marmore) near Terni. The building of the plant in 1898 at Marmore was considered highly innovative and brought much-needed investment to the Spoleto area including a large Cotton factory, with many companies following suit.

Honorable Aldo Netti’s parliamentary debate on 17 May 1922 is a testament to his innovation and foresight, where he stringently argued the absolute necessity to increase the use of this precious font of electrical energy and illustrated the benefits of hydro power in the production of electrical railway lines.

He was a pioneer and innovator for what is now known as renewable electrical energy. In the town of Orvieto in Umbria, he commissioned an artwork to promote this connection between 'energy and water', for the facade of a building in Via Maitani, which characterized the life and work of Aldo Netti in the field of electricity in Italy.

In 1925, he was requested to represent the Italian Government at the International Railway Congress in London due to his undeniable competence in business - Aldo had previously renounced the state position of Director General of Railways in Italy due to his vast network of projects in progress.

Aldo Netti passed away in Orvieto in 1925, not long after returning from this important state visit to London.

By the time of his early death, the list of collaborative projects he was involved in was lengthy.

To name just a few: President and Chief Executive Officer of the electricity company ‘Volsinia di Elettricità’, Commissioner of the Chamber of Commerce in Umbria, President of the Italian Union of Engineers and Railway Workers, Official Advisor to the Electro-technicians Association in Italy, Official Advisor to the Electricity Board in Rome, Lazio and Central Italy, delegate of the telephone company Umbro-Tirrena, founder and financier of electrical plants and waterway use on behalf of the Municipal of Narni, and owner of the Aldo Netti company, which brought electricity to over 130 villages in Umbria and Lazio. [4]

He was a friend of Guglielmo Marconi, whom he often accompanied at International congresses and had professional relations with top experts and founders of electrical energy in Italy from Professor Galileo Ferraris to leading engineer Giuseppe Colombo.

Aldo Netti was elected to the parliament of Italy (while still under monarchy) in 1921 until his death in 1925.[1]


  1. 1 Aldo Netti, L'ingegnere che "illuminò"l'Italia Centrale | Università della Terza Età Spoleto, su www.unitrespoleto.it. URL consultato il 10 novembre 2017.
  2. 2 (IT) Gino Favola, L’uomo che portò “ la luce “ nel centro Italia: Aldo Netti, costruttore di Centrali Idroelettriche | Ambiente Bio, in Ambiente Bio, 22 maggio 2012. URL consultato il 10 novembre 2017.
  3. 3 Camera dei deputati
  4. 4 Giuseppe Fortunati, Aldo Netti, in Personaggi e Racconti di Narni, Lulu.com, 2016. URL consultato il 2 dicembre 2016.
  5. 5 Lino Patruno, Patrizia Loiali e Michele Bollettieri "Aldobrando Netti" , 2009, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Orvieto
  6. 6 Rivista Heos n 46 del 18 Dicembre 2009 Articolo " Aldo Netti l'ingegnere che illuminò l'Italia Centrale "di Giuseppe Fortunati
  7. 7 Rivista Ingenium Anno XX n80 dicembre 2009 pag22 " Aldo Netti " di Giuseppe Fortunati .

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