Where it is:The Moncione Mill is on the number 135 path, a historical trail along the vie del Granito.
The Moncione Mill is one of the largest and most beautiful water mills on the Island of Elba, deep in the heart of breathtaking countryside, amidst the remains of ancient terracings. A balcony overlooking the sea facing Montecristo and Pianosa.
The mill was originally somewhat small, it had a horizontal water wheel (a "ritrécine" in Italian) that ran in a circular manner over the fixed part. Today you can still see where the water wheel was (the "carcinaio" in Italian) with the grinds above it.
In the years between 1880 and 1890 the mill was made bigger and the speed was increased with the installation of a huge with a complex system of cogs, and this meant that production went up to 4 tons an hour.
Interesting fact:The heavy parts in metal used in the making of the vertical wheel were transported on donkey back. The wheel axis itself weighed 12 tons and was carried up partly on a wagon and partly by hand. The men from San Piero who took part in the endeavour were then invited to a marvelous inauguration celebration in Moncione.
The wheat to be ground was carried by the donkeys to the mill and once ground, the flour was taken home, again on donkey back, so it was a strenuous effort. Grinding at the mill came to an end more or less in 1910, and in 1935, due to the War in Africa, the iron parts (cogs and axis) were sold for 270 lire.
The building is still intact today and you can still see the mill pond, the penstocks and where the wheat was ground.
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