Located along the Toscolano creek, the old Turano Watermill is a rare example of a historically important mill which still holds its original millstones.
Inhabitants of the valley ground maize, wheat and barley there, which they procured by toiling on the slopes of the valley. It was undoubtedly in use by 1860, as shown by the Tyrol Province land registers.
The mill was private and the valley’s inhabitants travelled there with their goods to have them ground. After using it, they paid the “Massaro” what was due and, if all went well, they were not subjected to duty imposed by military groups.
Visitors can view the millstones and hoppers while a series of illustrative panels provide information on how the mill worked, what life must have been like for the miller and which grains were grown in the valley to then be ground in this mill.
The millstones, one of which is in working order, can be accessed from the ground floor via a solid wooden door with its original bolt. There are two rooms on the ground floor, each with a wooden framed millstone. The millstones are made up of the bedstone, runner stone and additional grinding structures (the Italian idiom “mangiare a quattro palmenti” is derived from here, meaning to eat greedily, or at the speed of four millstones). Both millstones are connected to the shaft of the wooden waterwheel outside, the paddles of which have been entirely reconstructed.
The water wheel has been used as far back as antiquity but became widespread in Europe after the turn of the first millennium. It is the oldest machine: it enabled muscle power of people and animals to be replaced with water for the first time. In addition to the two wheels that drove the millstones, a third wheel powered the grinder the miller required for metal tool maintenance.
The Mill is owned by the Comunità Montana Parco Alto Garda Bresciano which recently oversaw its restoration, keeping its typical features and equipment intact.
It is managed by the Ecomuseum of Val Vestino, as are all the museums in the valley, and is open to the public on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer.
Interactive experience, available for free for your iPhone and Android device