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23022 - Chiavenna (SO) Piazza Caduti della libertà, 3
T 0343 37485
F 0343 37361

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Saturday: 9:00-12:40 e 14-18:50
Sunday: 10-12 and 14:30-18


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23022 - Madesimo (SO) Via alle Scuole
T 0343 53015

Daily open: 9.00-12.30 a.m / 3.00-6.00 p.m.
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23022 - Campodolcino (SO) Via D.R. Ballerini, 2
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Sunday: 9-12.30 a.m
Tuesday: closed

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The Mill of Bottonera

The mill of the former Moro Pasta factory is located in Bottonera, the craftsmen´s area of Chiavenna, built in the 19th  century in the north side of the town. The mills, the paper mill, the power hammer, the two cotton wool factories, the breweries and the Pasta factory in this area, used Mera river waters, through a network of canals, to power their machineries.
Canals were important till the end of the forties when they were replaced by hydroelectric energy. Today, the Bottonera, even though modified, still preserves its main character.

A history of flour and pasta
Carlo Moro founded the pasta factory in 1868 even if already in 1851 the Chamber of Commerce of Chiavenna talked about the presence of a "factory of not sweet pasta" which, in 1890, is named "wheat mill and pasta factory". In the same year four grinders made by the Italian Mechanical Workshops of Monza were installed, and in 1930 the Workshops from Reggio Emilia were asked to create a new structure with six grinders, introducing a lifting system and the flour sifting. These structures are almost undamaged.
The mill worked 24 hours a day and the work was organised on three shifts coordinated by a miller. He, together with a team of workers, worked the machines and the sacks loading of manufactured products such as flour, bran and wheat.
The mill and the pasta factory were very important to the economic life of Valchiavenna because they provided jobs to many workers. Today, the fifth generation of the Moro family keeps on with this activity, which started with Carlo, in Tanno, a small area close to Chiavenna.
The preservation of the Mill of the ancient Moro Pasta factory was possible thanks to the will of Moro family, the Valchiavenna Comunità Montana and Valchiavenna people and  Voluntaries Association that provided, through more than 85000 hours of free job.

Working  Phases
All the machinery in the mill runs on a turbine that is powered by a waterfall which moves the waterwheel.  The wheat is delivered to the mill and is deposited in a receiving trough next to the building.  Through the use of a cup elevator the wheat, both tender and hard corn, is carried to the first machine which performs the preliminary cleaning.  This machine eliminates the dust and light particles (straw, etc....).  After, the wheat passes through the three cylinders of the vetch machine which separates the grains into the various forms of cereal required (long grain, short grain, and broken grain).  From the vetch machine, the grain passes through a de-stoning machine which eliminates any objects which weigh more than the specified weight of the wheat grains, especially any stones present.  At the end of this process, which delivers the wheat cleaned of the impurities of greater consistency, it is passed on to the conditioning process.  At this point the procedures for the tender grain and the hard corn wheat are differentiated. 

Tender Grain Wheat
The tender grain wheat  now passes through the grain washer, a machine that is comprised of a coffer-dam that has a bladed screw inside to slow the movement of the wheat; thanks to a spigot located above the coffer the grain is "washed" and then settled into the conditioning silos, below the grain washer.  The conditioning time varies from seven to eight hours.  When this time has passed, the wheat is sent to a second cleaning process.  The first machine on its path is the grain-brusher which eliminates whatever particles are still clinging to the grains.  To complete the cleaning, the grain is passed through a duster sieve. At this point the wheat is ready to be ground.
The first grinding is done in the rolling-mill for breakage B1 where the wheat is broken up by two pairs of parallel rollers.  Now the product goes to the plane-sifter (or flat sieves) and is sifted and divided according to size through the use of sifters with varying meshes that move eccentrically. According to the size of the broken grains, the product is sent on to one of the following processes: breakage, hulling, or regrinding.  To divide the product better according to size two passages in the bran mill are used.  In any case, after every passage through the rolling-mill, the product is sifted to determine the subsequent step.  At the end of the grinding process there will be two primary products: the flour and the "granite" (a sharp-edged granulate).  The secondary products, on the other hand, are:  bran, fine bran and pollard.

Hard Corn Wheat
The hard corn wheat, once cleaned, goes through the grain wetter, a machine which sprays the grain with a fine spray of water to condition it.  At this point the wheat is set to rest in the conditioning case for eight to ten hours.  After the conditioning phase the wheat is sent to be ground, following the same procedure as explained previously for the tender grain wheat.  To obtain refined flour the grinding rolls will be different and they will be distanced differently as well; the passages in the bran mill are three times those used for the tender grain wheat and there will be only one passage in the plane-sifter.  The principal products obtained from the milling of hard corn wheat are: refined flour and super-fine flour.  The secondary products are the same as those obtained from the milling of tender grain wheat.  The grain is conducted through the various steps of the process in suction or pressurized conduits.  From the sifters to the bran mills, the machines are connected to a decanter that purifies the exhausts through a series of sleeve filters, and then re-emits the air into the environment.

Temporarily closed


Full ticket:  € 3,00

Reduced ticket: € 1,50

- children;
- students;
- groups with at least 15 people;
- over 60 years.


Information and bookings:
Consorzio Turistico Valchiavenna
T: +39 0343 37485



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