Foresti & Suardi, all Made in Italy

Luciano Paissoni heads a company, established in 1961 by Luigi Foresti and Lino Suardi, where courage, curiosity, passion, research, innovation and ongoing trainingare at the basis of its success

by Carla Pagani

LIFTING PLATES, OARLOCKS, CHOCKS, CLEATS, WING NUTS, SHACKLES, MANHOLES, WASHERS, MIXERS. A boat is a complex system comprising an infinite number of instruments and accessories with unusual names, all of which will be unfamiliar to those who aren’t accustomed to going to sea. However, this vocabulary is familiar to sailors, telling them about a complicated structure whose balance can be ensured by eventhe smallest hook.

Foresti e Suardi

Who’s behind this world of instruments, details, and accessories? Workers, artisans, professionalism, expertise and plenty of passion. This is certainly true of Foresti & Suardi, an Italian gem based on Predore, on Lake Iseo. Proud tobe one of the few foundries still in existence, it was founded back in 1961 by Luigi Foresti and Lino Suardi, who lent it their names. The company has grown year by year, on every front: turnover, production plants, employees.

In short, it is a success story that deserves to be told because it is rooted in the age-old artisanal tradition that characterises the area around Bergamo and Brescia, a cradle of manufacturing that is home to numerous firms that showcase Italian production around the world. Likewise, for almost sixty years, Foresti & Suardi have showcased their meticulously manufactured products made from brass cast at 950 degrees, injected, then finished and worked, before being polished and galvanised. This brass is extremely high quality in termsof durability and corrosion resistance, proving even better than stainless steel.

Foresti & Suardi
Luciano Paissoni

The company, which has always focused on making the most of its employees and on a working dimension characterised by very high standards, has continued to grow constantly. Until fairly recently it was simply known as a foundry for brass objects and accessories, but that is no longer the case. Foresti & Suardi now specialises in working numerous metals, including stainless steel and aluminium.

In 2001 it acquired Azur Inox Marine, based in Saint Raphael in France. In 2018 it opened a new production site in the heart of Franciacorta, in Adro, an area that has been dominated by other areas of specialisation, such as sparkling wine, for centuries. Lastly, just a few months ago, it acquired Alluminox, a specialist steel-working factory.

It has also invested heavily in its technical equipment: in the space of just ten years, it has spent over one million euros on high-tech machinery. Foresti & Suardi has consequently won the trust of some major shipyards, producing accessories and on-board equipment for them that was previously made in-house, and working with internationally renowned designers such as Christian Grande.

Foresti e Suardi

Everything began when the company decided to supply accessories and technical instruments to some of the biggest yards in the area: Riva, Rio, Arcangeli. Foresti & Suardi began mass-producing cleats. It was the first to do so. It now exports its products all over the world and has received numerous national and international awards for the quality of its goods.

In 2010 it received a prize for its “Halley” lamp at the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam and it earned nominations and category awards in the Design Awards Mets for several years in a row thanks to the design of its “Delphinus”, “Andromeda” and “Lyra” exterior courtesy lights. It received another nomination at the Nautical Design Awards in 2012, for its brilliant folding cleat model “9320”.

Foresti e Suardi

And just a few months ago it obtained prestigious 100% Made in Italy certification, issued by the institute for the protection of Italian manufacturers. What is the secret behind this success that was not even affected by the crisis of ten years ago?

Courage, curiosity, passion, research, innovation, and training, whichthe company has always invested in. It is here, on the shores of one of Italy’s most beautiful lakes, that generations come together and different experiences are combined: those of modern artisans, including engineers and highly specialised technicians, and those of people who can be described as metalworking “shipwrights”.Quality and experience. On-board instruments are no longer simple but have become furnishings, while never overlooking practicality.

Foresti e Suardi

Foresti & Suardi began to make their products beautiful to look at, even the accessories that we usually fail to notice. Meanwhile, they still have to make the boat functioning and functional, safe, practical and comfortable. The company now manufactures entirely custom-made products too, following the whole process from design to development. This is one of the feathers in its cap. It has been made possible thanks to its ability to look at details and integrate them perfectly within a complex system, always maintaining originality, character, and, obviously, functionality and elegance.

(Foresti & Suardi, all Made in Italy – – October 2019)