Venetian Sawmill in Malé
Museums and castles
The Segheria Veneziana in Malè illustrates the traditional arts of log cutting and woodturning. It shows how the local population once exploited the power of running water via the simple yet effective technology of the water wheel. Used by Alpine communities for centuries, water mills are the subject of a vast collection of literature. The Malè sawmill was built in 1774 by the Zanini family and used to cut timber without interruption until 1978.
This is a classic «Venetian» sawmill, once a common sight in Trentino and the Alps. Its highly efficient technology made it well suited to mountain waterways and this design became ever-more widespread in the Alps due to the timber trade with the Venetian Republic. The Malè sawmill is of the Venetian type. It has a small wheel, 65 cm in diameter and 1 m wide, which is hit from above by waters cascading from the rivers next to which the mill was built (a flow of 95 litres a second is needed to turn the wheel).
Today the fully restored Malè sawmill still runs, giving visitors a fascinating insight into an ancient art steeped in heritage; it also gives visitors an understanding of the different types of wood, each of which has characteristics suited for specific purposes.