Hikes of the Mills
Mills along rivers and streams have been for many centuries the only factories. As a matter of fact, from the Middle Ages until the early '900 those simple and efficient constructions have been used either in the processing of minerals and in those of flour milling. Today it is possible to visit what remains of those abandoned buildings, in some cases so well preserved that is still possible to read the past and to understand how those clean energy factories used to work. Anyway, they are immersed in very beautiful and peaceful places and the streams along which you will find are incredibly clean and attractive.
Val di Merse Reserves
Mills on the Farma River
Hiking along the Farma, one of the cleanest river of Italy, it is easy to imagine how this beautiful valley was a big laboratory for the manufacturing of iron. Dams and ruins give to the place, already beautiful, a fascinating feature. Very interesting in this part of the province, there stands the village of Scalvaia where you can admire a monument for 10 partisans who had a training camp in the woods around there. A good option to visit this valley is a hike directly in the river-bed, a long but easy and rewarding exploration. In any case, there are good possibilities to see wild animals. Farma is one of the fewest European rivesr where still lives the otter (Lutra lutra).
Mills on the Merse
All the Merse mills around the Brenna village have been restored as houses. It is very interesting to see all the gates, the locks and the canals. Many options can bring the hiker to discover the surrounding woods and hills.
Mills on the Crevole
Good example of mills restored as houses. Nice stop on the river descent of the stream or along the hike of the old abandoned railway that brought the brown coal from Murlo mines to the main railway. Very wild territory rich in secrets.
Mills on the Ricausa
Probably the best ruins of this kind, in an extraordinary place and along a great round trip hike (see Castiglion Balzetti).
Chianti (European interest site)
Mills on the Arbia
A small corner of Chianti where it is still possible to find some wilderness. Ruins and a path always close to the water offer good chances to see animals. Some nice pools for a swim can be found in the early summer.
Mills on the Ambra
Easy walk along three restored mills on a field road perfect for a simple bike ride.
Out of Reserve
Mills of Fusola
Where you would never expect there is a stream (Fusola) with the ruins of three mills and an extraordinary ruin of a hermitage carved on the rock. A small canyon makes this hike a real small jewel.