A family history
Our company was founded in 1886 in the small Emilian village of Castelnuovo Rangone, on the outskirts of the city of Modena.
Costante Villani and Ernesta Cavazzuti, with their entrepreneurial spirit, set up the company: they purchased a small building in the heart of the town where they began to season cured meats and to produce mortadellas and cooked hams.
Under the leadership of Giuseppe Villani, son of Costante, and his wife Irma Zironi, the second generation of the family took over the reins of the company. Giuseppe took forward his father's project with a particular innovative spirit: he left for America to explore local companies and on his return decided to install an overhead rail system to transport the meat for processing. A true revolution for the whole sector.
THE 1930s and 1940s
At that time, the company employed 270 people. Since then, from the small village in the Modenese countryside, Villani has successfully exported to the world the infinite heritage of taste that delights and conquers the whole world. It was during this period that the company first began to attend international trade fairs.
Industrialisation, management costs and competition would all grow, but the relationship of support and collaboration established by "commendator Peppino" with the workers would further strengthen the company. It was thanks to his efforts that Villani was able to recover and enhance the cold cut arts heritage of the various regions of Italy thereby enhancing the production of regional specialities recognised for their quality and exported worldwide.
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, whom he was named after, Giuseppe Villani took control of the company with a fresh vision. A group of production sites was created in the places of origin that were traditionally most suited to the production of cured meats. Each one specialises in one of the flagships of Italian cold cuts preparation: salami, cooked hams and Emilian specialities (Castelnuovo Rangone); mortadellas (Bentivoglio, Bologna); coppas and pancettas (Castelfranco Emilia); San Daniele hams (S. Daniele del Friuli) and Parma hams (Pastorello di Langhirano).
Chief Executive Officer of Villani Salumi
In those years, Villani had already become a consolidated company and a point of reference in the world of cold cuts: but the current role and production capacity had been achieved never forgetting the artisan spirit of the origins and always renewing the relationship with the territories and its people. It was during this time that the company also identified opportunities for the further development of foreign markets. Its products were chosen from the best shops and displayed in delicatessen and gastronomy shops throughout Italy, Europe and the world.
THE 2010s- 2020s
The respect for tradition and the drive towards the future, which have always motivated the company, have reached their pinnacle in recent years. As a result, together with constant investments in research and development, Villani finally brought one of its greatest projects to fruition: bringing all the quality of cutting products directly to the table, within a tray that keeps their freshness unaltered. This is how the Villani Sliced Meats were created, a combination of know-how and technological avant-garde, with an ever-growing assortment, always strictly respecting the expected level of craftsmanship.
During that same period, the first museum in Italy dedicated to the art of cold cuts was set up encapsulating the dignity and mastery of an ancient and timeless craft. Products that - at a first glance - would not seem appropriate for a place of culture such as a museum are instead promoted to “cultural assets”, “state of the art” productions and “artefacts”, singular expressions of a genius loci that is unique in the world. A stirring journey through places, rituals and secrets of the trade.
At the historic headquarters of Castelnuovo Rangone, as evidence of the tie that has always united us to our birthplace, the MuSa set up in 2013. It offers a multimedia and multi-sensory path with the aim of enhancing and passing on the ancient art of making cured meats.
New languages for an ancient history. Our know-how, experience and quality find new forms of expression, compatibly with the evolution over time and successfully interpreting the extraordinary efforts of our journey.
The new Villani identity evolves.
Villani has now been thriving for 5 generations, spanning 3 centuries of history, which makes it the oldest cold cuts producers in Emilia-Romagna and one of the oldest in Italy. With its roots planted deeply in the past and branches reaching out towards the future.