It all began over a century ago, around the second half of the 1800s, when Francesco Sironi, originally from Briosco in Brianza (where the art of spinning silk is an age-old tradition), bought the Tortona spinning mill to launch a thread production business. The silk mill market was a leading sector of the Piedmont economy. Furthermore, from the 1600s 'til the first decades of the 19th century, thanks to the technological innovations developed, and even more so to the population that worked inside the mills, silkworm farming had also become important to the Tortonese economy. The building complex, apart from containing industrial edifices, also included a residence, known today as The Sironi Silk House.
Once upon a time the place had largely been home to a grandiose convent dedicated to Saint Chiara, belonging to the Francescan Order, founded way back in the thirteenth century. After Napoleon Bonaparte closed down all city monasteries in 1802, the convent was divided between various owners and, over the years, completely demolished. The only salvaged part remaining was towards the north (Calcinara Street) of the structure, which then became the living quarters of the Sironi Family.
Restoration of The Sironi Silk House took place over time and always respected the essential elements of the building which, to this day, still trace back to its ancient origins. In 2016, a new architectural project combining renovation, restoration and conservation was initiated, concentrating on the importance of preserving the authenticity of the original structure and, at the same time guaranteeing its sustainable, longterm conservation, as well as being public-friendly.