Our history

Our history has a tight bond with Italy, the nation that witnessed our birth and growth. Our roots are firmly embedded in a solid past and in values that have the merit of still being relevant today: passion and innovation. And this is why we have never stopped growing. Ours is the story of a company, but it is also the story of a family: a stage race with exhausting climbs and exciting sprint finishes, but above all so many exhilarating successes and exceptional team members.


1937: Italy flexes its muscles, conquers Ethiopia and its “place in the sun”. The Society of Nations reacts by implementing an embargo: a trade block on all goods from abroad. The Fascist Government proclaims: “autarchy!” Meanwhile, in Italy and around the world, Picasso paints Guernica, the Bauhaus movement is at its peak, Balilla is founded and the sportsmen Coppi, Bartali and Nuvolari capture the imagination with their great exploits. Frank Lloyd Wright designs and constructs his “Fallingwater”, one of the masterpieces of modern architecture. The atom is split for the first time at the Chicago Stadium. Humphrey Bogart, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire are the stars of the moment. La Scala Opera House reopens, directed by Toscanini, the popular song “Parlami d’amore Mariù” is being played and everybody is tip-tapping.

This is where the business venture began

1937: Rodolfo Squinzi sets up M.A.P.E.I. - Materiali Autarchici Per Edilizia e Industria (Autarchic Materials for Building and Industry) - in the Bovisa district in the north of Milan. Mapei starts manufacturing paints as an alternative to a French product: SILEXCOLOR silicate paint is created and the foundation stone of what will become a huge house is laid. 

Rodolfo Squinzi keeps on increasing production, and despite the harsh reality of war, his willingness to help his clients and staff becomes legendary. As the war ends, the reconstruction process begins, and Mapei is still very much to the fore. Thanks to the research work which, right from the beginning, is in the Company’s DNA, ADESILEX is the next product to be created, an adhesive for linoleum that replaces Italeum.

Mapei around the world

Mapei Spa

The creation of our product lines

Wall protective and decorative coatings

logo-white Told tales

18 told tales illustrated by Carlo Stanga about Mapei and the solutions provided towards the successful completion of some of the most significant projects in Italy and around the world over the last 80 years.

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