Our History

A journey through time

Notary Deeds Of Late Eight Hundred


It is the date the stonecutters from Montovolo carved on the lintel of the mill's door, the date of the construction of the building.

More than fifty years before the French Revolution!

But it isn't the only one... If we use all the dates that appear on the lintels and the stone walls (1840, 1844, 1877, 1883, 1893), it's possible to reconstruct all the developments of the house through the decades until reaching its current appearance of a small village.

The Master's home was built by the father and the uncles of Ruffilla Pelagalli.

Built on numerous properties, the complex included a mill with two grindstones (still visible). One was used to grind animals' flour, the other for edilble flour. There is a blacksmith's forge, an oven, an hen-house, a stable, and a barn.

A small generator connected to the mill's blades provided electric energy to the house at a time when there were no public power lines.

The elderly people that met her when they were young remember Ruffilla as a generous and very kind woman, She was able to read, write, keep the accounts and manage the properties of her family, the small farms, and the sharecroppers.


When she was 21 years old, she married Sisto Vannini, by whom she had 6 children.

Sisto was a land owner as well, and there are rumors he was proud of saying he could go to the church passing only on his lands.
An honest and upstanding man, devoted to his family and his work, generous and correct with his sharecroppers, Sisto and his wife Ruffilla enjoyed an equal relationship, as revealed by some wonderful handwritten letters sent to her during the first world war. They were found in a drawer on the property.

During the second world war, the house became part of a German military district along the Gothic Line.
One of the grandchildren, now eighty years old, narrates how the German officials kept counting the windows inside and outside the house to understand how many rooms there were. They never found the room where resistance supplies had been walled up.

Even the tunnel that brought the water to the mill's blades was very important. It saved the lives of many young people who hid in it during periodic sweeps conducted by the Germans.

Ruffilla Pelagalli and Sisto Vannini with their children (1910 circa)
Ruffilla Pelagalli and Sisto Vannini with some of their childrens in front of the house (middle 30s)


The Greglio Aqueduct was built, and the water flow that stocked the mill's tank ("il bottaccio") was diverted.

After more than 200 years, the mill stopped its blades forever.
The family decided not to transform it to an electric one. They dedicated themselves to beekeeping, while continuing with agriculture.  
Their honey was praised by anyone lucky enough to taste it and was highly sought after. People came from as far away as Bologna or Firenze to buy it.

Laura Emaldi and Ugo Vannini – Wedding 12 august 1933


And here we are today... Alfonsina, our great - aunt, last daughter of Ruffilla and Sisto, lived here until a few years ago, reaching the venerable age of 97 years.

How many stories have taken place inside these walls, how many memories? Photos and letters found inside the drawers and the wardrobes in the attic tell a tale of generations who were born, lived, and died here.


Alfonsina in front of the fireplace (1955)
Laura Emaldi and Ugo Vannini – Wedding 12 august 1933
Maria Grazia Vannini (1942)
Alfonsina in front of the fireplace (1955)

We couldn't leave all these to the oblivion and the carelessness of time! We decided to follow our hearts, refurbish the mill, leave Bologna, and move into this oasis of peace nestled among the oak trees.

Welcome to Antico Mulino of Roncorozzo. 

B&B Antico Mulino - C.F.: FGGCNZ70B68A944B