If you are stressed out and need to chill out a bit from the hustle and bustle of the city and work, I suggest you put your sneakers on and go for a stroll in a place called Stalis.
Stalis is a tiny area of Gruaro, one of the Venice municipalities, which is well-known for having revitalized the wheels and buildings of the ancient mills that were abandoned in the late seventies. The wooden machinery was collapsing and disused, the greenery nearby was too wild and untamed, and the mills were reduced into ruins.
In the fifteenth century mills represented strong economic power and commercial strength, which generated wealth and welfare. The activities they performed included smashing cereals, wood carving, cleaning rice, carding wool and linen, and kneading metals.
During the eighteenth century the locality used to be a source of inspiration to one of the most renowned Italian writers, Ippolito Nievo, who wrote "Confessioni d'un italiano", creating stories and adventure set amongst this local environment. There are views here that resemble ones from the British countryside.
The state of neglect this site had achieved in the last thirty years drove the community to commission a carpenter to undertake a whole restoration of the wheels, and the council allocated funds to renovate the buildings. Today the mills are used for exhibitions and events.
A wide, sandy path goes along the quiet Lemene River and leads to the construction and then it passes it by, proceeding across the fields and the series of trees, silent protectors of the land.
I walked here at sunset because I felt more in touch with nature and the landscape and it was quite refreshing for the mind and the spirit. I would definitely suggest coming here to this fascinating and mysterious territory that with its simplicity helps to recharge oneself ahead of a new week of work.