Our History


One of Barberini's main resources is the motivation and responsibility of those who work with passion.

It is with this spirit that every one of the 350 people who give life to Barberini work each day: managers, employees and highly qualified technicians. This team makes the customers' needs their own and is committed to bringing forth their work following all company procedures: strategic, technique, administrative, commercial and customer service. "Barberini" comes from its founder's idea: Pietro Barberini.

Immediately after the second World War Mr. Barberini ran an optical shop with his sister in law Emma Cerceo whose presence will prove of vital importance in the development of the company.

Mr. Pietro Barberini and Emma Cerceo were already actively producing ophthalmic lenses in the backside workshop of their optical store. As a consequence of this initial experience and motivated by the encouragement of their customers, the idea of glass sun lenses came to light. The substantial difference compared to the first activities in ophthalmology, is that these lenses can be produced in mass quantities. The production starts in the basement of their home but soon an improvement was necessary and the first industrial factory was built Montesilvano (PE). The "Industria Ottica Italiana" was born in 1963 and thanks to the Founder's creativity and his collaborators also the first automated system for lens processing was built. In 1976 the "Industria Ottica Italiana" becomes Barberini SpA and soon after, also due to the growth of new technologies, transferring the facility to Silvi was necessary. At the beginning of 1982 Barberini starts producing in the new plant in Silvi.

The company develops quickly and other factories add to the plant in Silvi. New systems are developed for the lens production and the first automated machine to assemble glass polarized lenses is built and patented. The production of glass polarized lenses grows exponentially and an entire Production Unit for this line of product is created called Barberini Lenti Speciali Srl (BLS). Today Barberini produces about 80% of its lenses polarized.

In order to improve our position in the world of automated technology and artificial vision, in 1998 Barberini acquires a small participation in Vision Device Srl who specializes in this kind of technology. The collaboration between the companies will prove to be strategic in the development of the systems that run our production.

In 1997 Mr. Pietro Barberini unfortunately passes away.

In 2000 Company Structure, who withholds the Company shares, decides to sell majority of shares to ILLVA S.p.A. in Saronno and the charge of President is given to Emma Cerceo, the co-founder of the company.

In 2004 BLS Srl merges its activity into Barberini SpA.

Today Barberini occupies a total surface of 37.000 square meters for its entire production and has about 350 collaborators in all, between offices and production.


  • In the ‘50 From the simple production of single ophthalmic lens prescriptions, the mass production of GLASS SUN LENSES began.
  • 1963 The company named INDUSTRIA OTTICA ITALIANA was founded and transferred from Pescara to Montesilvano, where the first industrial factory was built. Here the automated system for lens production was first set up.
  • 1976 Barberini S.p.A. is established.
  • 1982 Barberini S.p.A. moves to the building in Silvi, where it still is today.
  • 1993 Barberini Lenti Speciali S.r.l., dedicated to the production of polarized glass and special lenses, began.
  • 1995 Barberini S.p.A. achieves UNI EN ISO 9001 certification for its Quality System.
  • 1996 The first prototype of automated system,
  • 1997 An hydrogen furnace is installed inside the company, used to color photochromic lenses through a process called H2F (Hydrogen Firing), patented by Corning.
  • 1998 A series of International patents on Barberini’s special production systems are obtained.
  • 2000 ILLVA Saronno Holding S.p.A. acquires a part of the company shares.
  • 2001 Barberini S.p.A. achieves UNI EN ISO 14001 certification for the Environment Management System.
  • 2003 The company grows and a building of 2.700 m2 in a completely dust free environment, is built for vacuum coating applications.
  • 2004 Barberini Lenti Speciali, in the company re-organization, is merged with Barberini S.p.A.
  • 2009 Barberini S.p.A. opens its horizons and completes the production cycle for glass lenses acquiring the Ophthalmic Division in Schott AG in Germany.
  • 2010 Barberini obtains a shareholding quote in the Korean company, Triapex Co. Ltd.,
  • 2013 A special highly productive department is set up for polarized lenses named “High Speed” (12.000 pairs/day).
  • April 4th, 2013 A building site is set up to begin the construction of a new production plant in Città Sant’Angelo (22.000 m2).
  • 2014 The restructuring of the Rx sun lenses department is completed with progressive lens production system.
  • 2015 The company achieves the ISO 18000 certification on the Company Safety procedures. The certification procedure is complete (ISO 9001, 14001, 18000).
  • September 2015 The project for a sunglass collection,