There was a time when in Garfagnana the wealth of a town was measured by counting the mills it had. Along the course of the ditches and streams there were several mills, from the largest with 3 or 4 millstones to the smallest with only one, all in operation and, often as legend has it, managed by millers with a black soul, such as the Bertone of Mulin del Butrion: a great blasphemer, who refused to even go to the Christmas Mass, setting his mill in motion, and for this punished by the Archangel Gabriel who buried him with a large landslide. Even today, passing over there on Christmas Eve, you can hear strange noises such as the clatter of chains and the turning of millstones.
Today there are few mills still active, but it is always exciting to see their technology, which, with the power of water alone, turns the millstones, each different, to produce wheat, maize and neccio (chestnut) flours and peel the “farro” (spelt).
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