The Cascina Grampa history

GRAMPA’ in local dialect means “handful” and it recalls the typical movement of the hand seeding used in rice paddies.

In the lands of Cascina Grampa rice has been being produced for over five centuries and Riso Testa continues this tradition preserving and passing on that typical working cycle which for generations, season by season, has been shaping men, landscape and history of the surroundings.

The existence of a settlement called “La Grampa” is already certificate in some archive documents dated 1572, when the farmstead was bought by the Novara noble family of the Tornielli earls.

The particular charm of the CASCINA GRAMPA lies in the evocation of a past world: its closed square shaped courtyard , the ancient stable with the overhanging barn, the house for the wage earners, the dormitories and refectories for the mondines and the manor house where the current owners live.
An original architectural plant of the first half of 1800s, typical of Piedmont and Novara rice growing plain.

The wonder of the ancient “pileria”

An historic watermill, singular perfectly- working speciem located indoor, is fed by the water of Crosa canal, the irrigation ditch that already in 1600s flowed around the farmhouse.

The huge water wheel even now moves the old “pileria”, the plant for rice husking.

This typical machine consists of “pista da riso”, a kind of serial mortar made of wood and stone, the helix whitener, the puddy to split the rice that has become brown (without husk) from the one left still to be processed; the millstone made of original stone called “molazza”; different separators and sizers.

The ancient “pista” has recently been rediscovered, recovered and putback into operation after a complex restoration and partial recontruction of mechanical parts. It is an almost unique example in Italy and in the world of this type of machine still working. Its propulsion is provided by the hydraulic driving force of the mill, regulated by a system of antique wooden rack bulkheads and cast iron worm screws.