History of our house “il molino” (the mill)

As seen in the date engraved into one of the upper-floor ceiling beams, our mill dates back to 1862 when it was built for a large landowner, partly from carved natural stone and with walls of up to 1.20m thick. Thanks to the abundance of water and surrounding forest, il molino was used as a flour mill, providing the small village of di Chio with baked goods. For this purpose, water was damned up in a trench on the side of the pergola in June, which then operated the mill when needed. Unfortunately, all that remains from this time is the filler machine for the corn which runs from the large upstairs room down to the ceiling in front of the bathroom. The stone engraving in the kitchen gives an interesting impression of how the mill once stood. Local artist and sculptor Alberto Bruni crafted this engraving based on his memories of the time. After being used as a mill, il molino was inhabited and used by peasant farmers - without running water or electricity! Further uphill was an olive grove with a market garden on the terraces, kept fertile by a natural spring. Our olives sadly froze during the unbelievably cold winter of 1984.

The property was abandoned in 1963 during a phase of huge migration from the land. As was the case with many farmhouses in the region, the building stood empty. When we purchased the house in 1980 we found that it was structurally sound. Since then, we have renovated the mill, putting in plenty of hard work to try to reflect the original structure as well as possible: original "cotto" floor tiles, a traditional wooden beam ceiling, an open fireplace and a hundred-year-old stone basin have all been preserved. By doing this, il molino was able to be restored to its current state without losing its "casa colonica" charm. We permanently lived in il molino from 1983 to 1990, and in 1988 our daughter Marion was born in Poggibonsi.
Around 2 hectares of land also belong to the mill.