The valley of the Rio Calcina housed some of the oldest mills in the Euganean Hills
The site of the old mills of Torreglia can be reached by climbing from the village center towards Torreglia Alta (Upper town), along the road once called Contrà dei Molini, now Via Facciolati. After a short stretch lining the Rio Calcina, the climb proceeds making two hairpin curves, preceded by the building complex that can be observed on the right and that once represented the main plant of the old mills.
Today the buildings, after a thorough restoration, have been turned into accommodation facilities. Although the edifices are no longer equipped with their wheels (once operated by the waters of the nearby waterway to grind corn), anyway the place has perfectly preserved its charm and its architectural structures have remained intact.
The existence of mills in Torreglia is certified by some documents dating back to the first half of the twelfth century and proving the transfer of their ownership to the Monastery of Praglia. The historical sources appear more exhaustive only starting from the fifteenth century, when the plants on the Rio Calcina were organized in two milling posts, each of them equipped at least with one wheel. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the Paduan family of the Candi of Borgo Rogati took control on the mills which became the subject of hereditary disputes between the descendants of Gerolamo Candi and the monks of Santa Giustina of Padua.
The ownership of "wheels" on the Euganean Hills meant actual power and wealth for both the owners and the livellari (emphyteutae), although the grinding of grain was not guaranteed throughout the year, owing to the variable water flow of the Rio Calcina.
In Torreglia, the mills of Valderio supplied the whole village and belonged to the category so-called "a coppedello", namely using a wheel provided with curved wooden boxes/buckets rather than a paddle wheel. The shipmills in the plains, those floating on the big rivers like the Bacchiglione and the Adige, or the “terragni” ones (linked to an external structure to near waterways) on smaller canals, exploited the hydraulic pressure generated on the blades, whereas on the Euganean Hills the subtle wheels whose average diameter was 4 m, were driven by the weight of water collected in the boxes (cups or little buckets).
The mill “a coppedello” in the Euganean zone was also called "Mill of Bad Weather" or “Mulin Rotto" because of its use according to the limitations of the water flow of the Calti.
Further mills “a copedello” were located in Galzignano and Valsanzibio, at Montirone in Abano Terme, in Fontanafredda and Faedo, in Boccon, in Valnogaredo, in Rovolon and Villa Teolo and between Castelnuovo and Rocca Pendice.
Iniziativa finanziata dal Programma di sviluppo rurale per il Veneto 2014-2020
Organismo responsabile dell'informazione: GAL Patavino.
Autorità di gestione: Regione del Veneto
- Direzione AdG FEASR Parchi e Foreste -