the casentino valley and its water mills
Where the race to progress and its many utopias hasn't yet taken away everything, uses and traditions still resist, and not only bind us to our past, but remind us of an ancestral relationship between man and nature. A relation that we can not afford to forget, for the sake of the environment and ecosystems of every species. A well synthesized relationship in a verse of a well-known song: you should never take more than you give.
In Casentino there are still places that well represent this "peer exchange": places rich in history but also still active factories and bearers of a message far from set. A project has been developed in this sense by the Ecomuseo del Casentino, which has created an itinerary called "The Way of Water Mills".
This route includes facilities that are still working or are affected by recovery or enhancement projects promoted by the owners. It should not be forgotten that the mill, the hub of the processing cycles of wheat and chestnut, has always been an important indicator of the eating habits of this land, as well as being a point of socialization.
Along the "Ruscelletti che de'verdi colli / del Casentin discendon giuso in Arno / facendo i lor canali freddi e molli" (Dante, Divina Commedia, Inf. XXX) once the life of rural society was unraveled, and nawadays we can rediscover not just customs and traditions of the past but eternal flavors, completely forgotten elsewhere.
From Stia (Molin di Bucchio) to Capolona (la Nussa), from Raggiolo (molino di Morino) to Pagliericcio (molino Grifoni, still in full swing), the valley offers, for those who have eyes to see, a journey through space and time, between ancient wisdom and products that can be purchased directly from the manufacturer. Water, an indispensable resource for life itself, has seen the definitive abandonment of many mills a few decades ago, but continues to flow unabated and to move millstones with its timeless strength.
It requires sacrifice and work, but gives flavors and products that we thought we had lost forever.