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  • Hopper, Grifoni Mill, Castel San Niccolò.zoom in altra finestra
  • Interior of the Grifoni Mill, Castel San Niccolò.zoom in altra finestra

Ancient Grifoni Mill

There are not many watermills in Italy that can boast more than five-hundred years of uninterrupted activity. One of these is certainly the Grifoni Brothers Mill, situated on the banks of the Solano stream in the vicinity of Castel San Niccolò.

The Grifoni family, current owners of the complex, purchased the mill from the Community of Castel San Niccolò in 1696, as the date carved on the entrance architrave reads, but much older documents, including a lease contract dated 1546, testify that in this building, the art of grinding grains had already been practised for centuries. The Mill conserves the old system of water-wheels set into motion by an artificial canal, called Berignolo, more than 270 metres long. Passing through very narrow bulkheads, the water from the canal moves the wooden paddles which, in turn, drive two pair of millstones of pietra francese which are periodically chiselled to guarantee their functionality. The present mechanism dates to 1877 and replaced the original grindstone driven by a single vertical wheel.

Still today, these old millstones produce various types of flour, both wheat and of other grains and, from November to January, also chestnut flour. The visitor can thus not only see an old, still-functioning mill, but also taste its products sold there.


Texts by Elena Fani

English translation by Victor Beard

Last update 20/feb/2008