What was once a busy flour mill in the province of Naples, Italy is now an abandoned yet iconic monument overrun by wild verdant overgrowth.

The Valley of the Mills or “Valle dei Mulini” is a group of abandoned brick buildings nestled in the deep valley floor of Sorrento, Italy. For more than 600 years, these mills supplied flour for Naples and the surrounding regions,  producing over a million bushels of wheat every year. Its location along the river Vernotico also gave it a role in storing water during periods of drought, making it an important source of sustenance in the region.

Even after a huge earthquake caused by a volcanic eruption which devastated the Mediterranean area, the mills still stood, suffering only a deep crack in the rock foundation of the buildings. However, by the 1940’s the mills were completely abandoned as the milling of flour was shifted to nearby pasta mills and the onset of taxes overtook the business. Since then, nature has been reclaiming the land, the Valley of the Mills is slowly fading out of sight.

 

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Sorrento, Italy

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Source: Abandoned Playgrounds | Atlas Obscura