The Mill
of the Dronero
Riviera

 

HERE OUR FLOURS
ARE MADE

 
We bought and renovated an old water mill, where today we produce our own flours for our biscuits. The stone-ground flour preserves all the taste and scent of freshly picked cereal. 
That’s why it makes a difference.

 
 

An ancient history

The ancient “Mulino della Riviera di Dronero” is a small hidden gem in the Val Maira that stands out for its ancient and fascinating history.
 
It all began about 600 years ago, when some Benedictine monks decided to exploit the nearby Comella canal and build a water mill to grind the flour. The mill then had only two millstones; over the centuries, others were added and the structure was enlarged with the addition of the barn and the miller’s house.
 
 In 1970, after centuries of grinding, the old mill fell into disuse and remained abandoned, until the advent of the Cavanna family. After having tried the exceptional taste and the beneficial properties of the stone-ground flours, we decided initially to rent it and then, in 2002, to buy it.
 
 
 

Visit the “Mulino della Riviera”

The mill is now completely renovated and since 2010 is fully functional and you can visit: on Saturday morning you can book a guided tour directly from the Cavanna family, who will be happy to show you personally the whole structure, delving into the centuries-old history and explaining in detail the operation and maintenance of each machine.
The mill can be visited 1 time a month by reservation, times and specifications at the link below.
 
BOOK HERE --> BOOK A VISIT  
 
You will see how special flours are produced, from the choice of seeds to the grinding, you will discover how the water coming from the Maira pushes the wheels of the mill and drives the stone grinders. We will tell you how a centuries-old tradition has been brought back to life and is handed down from father to son. The tour ends in sweetness with a visit to the biscuit factory, where you can buy flour for bread and cakes produced inside the mill and taste the tasty homemade biscuits.

 All the stone-ground flours produced by the Mill can be purchased.
 
 
 

How does stone grinding work

The energy that makes the millstones move is obtained with the sole force of the water that slides into the wooden duct above the water wheels and makes them turn.

The energy produced causes the stone millstones inside the mill to act and begin to grind the seeds, until they turn into flour.

The seeds are introduced into the structure by large wooden containers, called hoppers, which make them slide into the small space existing between the heavy stones of the grinder, placed on each other. The millimetric space between the two means that the seed is not absolutely split or crushed, as happens in industrial processing, but only deprived of the first layer; in this way the flour obtained keeps intact all the nutritional characteristics of the cereal.

After some processing cycles the surface of the stone must be revived to ensure that the grinding is always perfect. For this reason, the miller, milking himself a hammer and a lot of patience, carries out a procedure called hammering or rabbiting of the stone, which consists in practicing on its surface some rows at a distance of about 2/3 millimeters from each other.

As is easy to guess, it is a long and tiring work, but necessary to keep the structure fully functional.
 

 

A precious pearl for the territory

The interventions of architectural recovery of the mill were made using traditional and natural materials such as wood and stone, in total respect of the original structure.

The design choices made by the Cavanna family derive from the deep desire to maintain the typical ancient characters, both for their intrinsic beauty and importance, and for their characteristics of sustainability.
The mill has always been a characteristic presence of the city of Dronero and its territory: its location on the "riviera", or the terraced bank of the stream, clearly visible from the panoramic terrace of Dronero, and the homonymous "via del Molino" the picturesque pedestrian path that you can walk to reach it.
 
 
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