The history of the medieval village of Montecatini Val di Cecina is linked to the Copper Mine of Camporciano which remained active until 1907. About 1 km from the village, it is part of the site of industrial archaeology of the “Museo delle Miniere”, which, after years of interventions, allows to admire part of the structures of this that in the 19th century was the largest copper mine in Europe.

Numbers: subdivided in ten levels, in each level several galleries branched off. If we add up the lengths of the galleries we reach 35 km, if we add up the heights of all the shafts we reach 10 km.

Today it is possible to admire the structures linked to the extraction of the mineral, the laverie for the washing and the refining, part of the galleries, the offices and the Well of extraction. From this mining site took its name one of the largest industries of the twentieth century, the Montedison. Those who visit the mining site are faced with a tiny ghost town, reminiscent of a village in the Far West. Only two centuries ago, the ruined buildings were animated by the bustle of the miners. The frenetic activity in the 35 km of galleries revolved around Pozzo Alfredo, at a depth of 315 meters and driven by a powerful steam engine. The work of the miner was exhausting and dangerous. It is therefore not surprising that the mining site includes a church devoted to Santa Barbara.

The 14th-century Palazzo Pretorio, 3 km from the Mine, houses the Documentation Center of the Mining Museum which collects precious information on the resources of the subsoil of the Val di Cecina. On the second floor there are images and objects related to the Copper Mine of Camporciano, on the second floor there are testimonies of the mining richness of this valley, from the Copper Room to the Salt Room, from the Alabaster and Geothermal Room to the Chalcedony Room.

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