Il Mulino Bianco
Il Mulino Bianco. Image – Wikipedia Commons.
  • An Italian property made famous in Barilla's TV ads is up for sale
  • Expected to sell for more than a million Euros, with a minimum bid of €831,204 (A$1.32 million)

An Italian could not win Wimbledon last night, but they did win the Euros, so in honour of this, here’s a memorable property for sale in Italy: a white windmill made famous by a TV commercial.

The Judicial Sales Institute of Siena will sell the property at auction in October, and they expect it to go for more than a million Euros, with the minimum bid to start at €831,204 (A$1.32 million).

What is it about this windmill that makes it unique that it turns smiles on the faces of Italians and makes their stomachs rumble?

Il Mulino Bianco

The story goes back to when this famous windmill, il Mulino Bianco, made its first appearance in a commercial of the food brand Barilla in 1989. It became the home of the stereotypical farmer family in the remote mountain areas of Italy.

These commercials would show a happy family, all well-presented and well-behaved kids, with their challenges in life. But everybody would be content when the family members put the food, biscuits and coffee, on the perfectly prepared table.

“Dove c’e Barilla, c’e casa” which means, “where there is Barilla, you feel at home”. Il Mulino Bianco became an attraction in its own right. No doubt the backing music of Ennio Morricone helped, along with the direction of Giuseppe Tornatore (he of the classic Cinema Paradiso).

Barilla-packaging
Barilla packaging, showing the white windmill. Image – Mulino Bianco

Ada Guglielmino, the owner of Parlapa (a bar in Fremantle) and Hashtag Italia (a radio show on Radio Fremantle), told me:

“The first Mulino Bianco (White Mill) cookies showed up on the supermarket shelves in 1975 as the oven products of Barilla. Since the beginning, the focus was on an emotional marketing approach mixing three main elements: nature, health and – most of all – tradition.

“The first cookies (Tarallucci, Molinetti, Pale, Campagnole e Galletti) had evocative names, and they had minor differences so that the client would remember the homemade cookies. They were good to be plunged in the morning caffe latte as well as a snack.

“And they were genuine: so genuine that on the packaging, you could find the recipes for baking it at home. They were on every Italian table in the morning, and they were inside every school lunch bag.

“The yellow packaging reminded the customer of the old bakery paper bags. The peaceful, water painted Mulino Bianco was the dream house for every person living in metropolitan areas in big and noisy apartment complexes.

“It was a triumph of nostalgia for a lost country world. Mulino Bianco means a lot for all Italians, especially for millennials, as they grew up with their products. Again, the cookies and the brand remind them of their childhood, the good old times, pleasant memories.”

Ada Guglielmino, Parlapa

So, what do you say, are you hungry yet…?

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