28043 Bellinzago Novarese (NO)
Municipality: Bellinzago Novarese
Mulino Vecchio of Bellinzago is one of the several watermills you can find in the valley of the river Ticino. At the moment, it is the one and only working and well-preserved mill. Already mentioned in some 16th century documents, it was renovated in the 17th century by Bellinzago Community and then sold to private owners. It was active until the 18th century. In 1985 the mill was bought by the Park Authority thanks to the contribution of Regione Piemonte. After a careful renovation, the Mill has become a Visitor Center and a Regional Center of Environmental Education. The Mill houses a permanent exhibit including historical documents and objects linked to the rural and milling activities. It is situated on the first floor of the building and aims at illustrating the aspects of the territory linked to the use of the watermills, representing essential structures for the rural economy of Ticino Valley.
The mill hall, where the equipment and machines of the Mill are preserved, is the most significant section of the whole building: here you can imagine the past life of the mill. Together with the three outer iron water wheels, the equipment for the cereal milling is still working and well preserved. Thanks to the water of Roggia Molinara, it is possible to set in motion the wheel which, through a series of gears, transmits the movement to the big stone mills producing flour.
Next to the mill hall, there are the kitchen with the oven to bake bread, used by the last miller Ambrosetti until a few decades ago. On the ground floor, an equipped hall has been obtained from the old stable: it is used for didactic workshops, temporary exhibits, and for the projection of audiovisual material completing the guided visits.
From spring to autumn, Mulino Vecchio houses several initiatives and cultural events and is the destination of school groups for environmental education activities.
The outer space gives visitors the opportunity to rest and have a picnic, thanks to a small area equipped with benches and tables, as well as toilets accessible for people with disabilities. Not far, two car parks and another recreational area. The structure is completed with a guided route giving the opportunity to observe some of the most characteristic natural environments of the Park.
You can reach the Mill by bike (or on foot) from Villa Picchetta in Cameri, housing the Park Authority Offices (about 8 km far) along three cycling routes, or by motor vehicle from the town of Bellinzago (NO), taking Via Ticino at the traffic lights and following the brown arrows.
Opening times: from 4th April to 30th May 2010, on Sundays and holidays from 10.00 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Entrance fee: Free admission.