Nestled between the Valdarno and Casentino Valleys, two sisters have turned a mill into a holiday home, enhancing its original beauty by clever use of millstones and recycled natural materials.
On one side the Valdarno valley and on the other the Casentino valley, separated by the Protomagno ridge, which is also where you'll find the source of a vigorous stream called Borro del Cigno. In times past, there were several water mills situated along the banks of Borro del Cigno, including the Morandi water mill. Two sisters, Lucia and Laura Masoni, were struck by the spirituality of the place and bought the mill, spending three years renovating it into a holiday home for twelve guests, furnished in an elegant shabby chic style.
A place to relax surrounded by nature, a place where you can go to reinvigorate your body and mind as you swim in the salt-water hydrolysis pool that uses ordinary salt (and does not ruin your hair and skin) instead of chlorine to purify the water. A place where you can go for a walk in the woods and a convenient starting point for visiting the numerous tourist destinations which abound in Tuscany.
“Lucia and Laura were struck by the spirituality of the place”
“This restoration involved some serious structural work,” explains the architect Antonella Tundo. “We demolished several floors, restored staircases, re-terraced the outside areas, but most of all, we had to solve the damp problems.”
The renovations, including the use of special damp-proof plaster, have prevented water seeping in from the mill, thus enabling guests to enjoy only the crystal clear water from the Borro del Cigno stream, which runs underneath the bridge leading to the entrance. The two owners and their spouses took care of the decor, restoring old furniture discovered in the mill and various reclaimed pieces.
Lucia's husband took care of some of the plasterwork and even built the dry stone walls after researching the technique. As Lucia Masoni explains: “My sister Laura and her husband Alessio had great fun building, repainting and covering the walls. They even made the sculpture you see at the entrance to the mill, out of the rings holding the barrels together. I like to think that these sculptures reflect our work: doing it together in total harmony.”
Words by Silvana Casarotto.