Start point: Alagna 1200 m
Drop: 80 m
Trekking time: 1 h
With children: yes
Where to eat: Montagna di luce
Route number: no
By bike: yes
Easy walk to the hamlet Uterio whe you can see the old mils still working
From the Church of Alagna follows the road to the natural park; after 800 m, turn right on the ridge and reach Pedemonte (here you can visit the Walser museum). Enter the firs road on your left after 150 m, pass the small wooden bridge, and you see the mills in fron of you.
Once you get to Uterio, you immediately notice two small structures in wood and stone: the water mills where the population ground the grain into flour for centuries. Carved into the stone architraves you can read the dates 1552 and 1694. Below in a semi-open space, you can see the hydraulic wheels placed in a horizontal position with half bowl-shaped paddles (to use even with minimum quantities of water) and small wooden canals that channelled water from a diversion of the Sesia. The doors open into small rooms where the stone grinders were kept sheltered by wooden covers and crates to catch the ground flour.
It’s not difficult to imagine the men walking with backs bent under the weight of the sacks filled with grain. Mainly rye was cultivated at these altitudes and was harvested in great quantities on the terracing in the area. Even though the mills of the hamlet Uterio are not the only mills, they are however considered to be the most representative, because they are placed strategically next to the bread oven of San Nicolao and near the hamlet Pedemonte where the Walser house-museum is. They therefore fit well into the stages on the Ecomuseum route, an ideal itinerary to get to know the Walser Alagnese community.