The ancient San Giovanni rice mill
The story of the ancient San Giovanni rice mill is a unique example in the province of Vercelli. It is a rice mill driven by the force of the water that flows in the irrigation ditch, coming from the Dora Baltea, which, with its hydraulic force, still drives - even today - the various machinery. Originally used in the milling of cereals, with the passing of the centuries, its operation was increasingly linked to processing rice. From the end of the nineteenth century, the old mill was decommissioned and the rice mill entered full production which, in the early 1900s became the property of the noble Tournon family: the two facilities, the one with the mill and the one with the runway, were already connected by a catwalk and the driving energy was provided to the rice mill no longer by a wheel but by a turbine which still today powers the system. Even though the production activity stopped at the end of the 1980s, the building still contains all the machinery for the various stages of processing the rice. It also houses the Museum of the “Rice Machines” that collects, restores and catalogues historic tools and components connected with the work of and the life in the rice fields.