Chiusdino, a small municipality in the province of Siena, is home to a truly prodigious mill: far from being an artistic or architectural monument, it has been the Tuscan town’s main tourist attraction for over twenty years.
The Mulino delle Pile dates back to the 13th century and still works perfectly, but that is not the reason why it’s so famous. It became a “celebrity” when it was featured in TV commercials for multinational company Barilla since the early 1990s, specifically for the Mulino Bianco brand (which literally means “white mill”).
That’s when the large wooden wheel of the old milling facility became an idyllic symbol of healthy and natural countryside living, helping promote bread, pastries, and other bakery products for Mulino Bianco.
Thus – although Chiusdino has gained much from the publicity – Mulino delle Pile has eclipsed many local artistic wonders, such as the Abbey of Saint Galgano and the Montesiepi Hermitage, which we mentioned in a previous article. They are two amazing medieval structures (open for visitors every day: don’t miss Montesiepi’s famous Sword in the Stone). In the area, there are also the Hermitage of Saint Lucy (13th century), the evocative remains of the Miranduolo Castle (dating back to at least the year 1000)… and more: the mill, as you will see, is surrounded by a whole world of beauty.