“Il Mulino Bianco” goes up for auction: the parable of the ancient mill of Chiusdino that made the history of advertising

“Il Mulino Bianco” goes up for auction: the parable of the ancient mill of Chiusdino that made the history of advertising
“Il Mulino Bianco” goes up for auction: the parable of the ancient mill of Chiusdino that made the history of advertising

“Il Mulino Bianco” goes to auction. The ancient Chiusdino mill, in the province of Siena, which became famous all over the world for the commercials of the homonymous brand, appeared for the first time in 1989 in the advertisement for the biscuits of Barilla created by the creative Armando Testa with the direction of Giuseppe Tornatore and the music of Ennio Morricone. The property, which houses a farmhouse, will be sold by the Judicial Sales Institute of Siena next October. The base price is set at just over one million euros, the minimum bid is 831,204 euros and 89 cents. The news is published today by “The nation“.

In the last twenty years the mill had become a farmhouse with restaurant, swimming pool with solarium, a dozen rooms and several bathrooms, a tower and a museum part where the tools to produce electricity thanks to the mill wheel and the millstones for processing cereals. Before gaining popularity, it was a ruined mill, not far from the abbey of San Galgano, the one that has the sky as its roof, and next to it the rock in which the knight Galgano set his sword.

Perhaps it was thanks to these ‘magical neighbors’, more likely it was the fruit of the genius of Tornatore and Morricone, but that place became a cult destination especially on weekends. The commercial was so effective that it became a ‘topos’: there was the father, a journalist, who returned to that country house after a day in the editorial office; the mother, of a simple beauty, with a string of pearls around her neck, a boy and a girl with advertising faces and also a wise and reassuring grandfather. Micro-stories of adopted kittens and small dramas all solved with snacks and biscuits, while the wheel of that mill, painted white to respect the logo, turned as quietly as the wheel of the world. All the Italian families aspired to resemble that of Mulino Bianco, a big hunt started at the cottage in the countryside, in Tuscany or Umbria, where the hills resembled that set. And there, in the ‘non-place’, a pilgrimage that made an era took place.

In the 90s, on Saturdays and Sundays, the curvy road in the Val di Merse, in the province of Siena, which connects Chiusdino to the Maremma, became a snake of cars: hundreds of people who took off for kilometers to take the children to see the ‘ Mulino Bianco’. He writes “The nation“. “Nobody went to San Galgano anymore or to see the sword in the rock, everyone stopped at Molino delle Pile and expected Barilla to open a snack shop. The Municipality of Chiusdino had to provide special signs, repair the roads, in exchange Barilla sponsored the local football team in the Second and Third Category, the ‘Cinghiala’. After a few years it all ended: Barilla changed spots, they never wanted to buy that mill in the Val di Merse ”.

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