On the ‘Strada Antica di Monti’, part of the ancient ‘Via del Sale’, which climbs, starting from Via Betti, in the valley of the river S. Francesco, near the hamlet of San Maurizio di Monti, there is a group of old farmhouses inside which an old mill and an oil mill can still be found. The old buildings are preceded by a beautiful stone bridge, of the so-called ‘Roman’ type, and form a ‘Molitorio Complex’ of great historical interest and peasant art. The complex belongs to the Pendola family, who wanted to create a Museum of Peasant Civilisation on their property in order to hand down the traditional activity of their ancestors, naming it after their most distinguished representative, the Garibaldian hero Giovanni Pendola.
In the main building on the first floor, the original setting of the time when the place was still inhabited by the Pendola family has been recreated.
In the larger building, built in the 17th century (but renovated several times, especially in the 20th century), is the olive press.
Here are all the original devices for oil production: a stone basin and millstone used for pressing, a container (in dialect puieu) to heat water for subsequent pressing, the press, two slate vats in which the oil was collected and decanted.
Nearby is a grain mill, which used the same wheel as the mill. The museum is run by the La Cipressa Cultural Association, a name derived from the word ‘soppressa’, which in the local dialect means ‘olive press’.
Periodically, usually on the third Sunday of the month, the ‘La Cipressa’ Cultural Association conducts free guided tours of the 17th century mill complex and the ‘Cap. G.Pendola’.