The guidebook suggested spending ten minutes in Loro to walk down to the old mill. It didn't say what a beautiful place Loro is, perched on its Tolkein-esque gorge. We spent rather longer.
If I say that it's a scruffy little old Italian town, that may sound like a mortal insult, but I don't mean it unkindly. The old houses with their pretty tiled roofs pile up on one another, some looking rather dilapidated, but it is a real village/small town with useful shops, and we stopped for a coffee in a small shop patronised by locals having a chat to the lady who runs it - in fact there was nothing touristy there at all, and the coffee and brioche was the cheapest we found in all Tuscany. I explained we wanted to sit down at the outside table to drink, but she told us there was no extra charge for sitting or standing.
There was nothing touristy about the mill, either, other than that it was old. Entrance was free - donations welcome for the upkeep - and the man who ran it explained how it operated. Alas, there had been no rain for over a week so the water that comes down from the hills, operated the machinery and then pours down into the gorge had dried up. He suggested we come back the following day as rain was expected, but we were heading home in the early hours so couldn't. (Hardly had we left than the rain began and was torrential all day and all night), But we did buy some flour, chestnut and ordinary, and now I have to find some recipes to do it justice. The owner doesn't speak English but whenever my Italian failed miserably we found that sign-language was perfectly adequate
Definitely worth more than ten minutes if you are in the Casentino.
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