Visitors to the Mining Museum Park of Abbadia San Salvatore are given the opportunity to explore the mines where mercury was extracted from 1899 to 1972, and to get to know the history of the development and evolution of one of the most importat mineral lodes in the world, right here in the heart of Monte Amiata.
The itinerary covers three sections: the Torre dell’Orologio (Clocktower), with its domentary museum; l’ex Officina (former workshop), with its multimedial and interactive displays created by Studio Azzurro inaugurated in 2016; and finally the Galleria Livello VII (Level VII Tunnel), where five areas have been recreated, showing excavation fronts and the various phases of mineral-processing in a highly evocative atmosphere.
The museum retraces the human and historic events of the miners, accompanying visitors to discover how the men lived and worked, men who every day were lowered into the depths of the earth at the cost of their health and their youth. This incredible human story is illustrated by an exhibit of period work tools and garments, and also through a portrait gallery of old photos of the inhabitants of Abbadia, ex-miners, families, and groups of workers. Further exhibits in the collection show the various minerals mined from the Monte Amiata area, the systems for excavating the minerals, and different conceptions of mercury over time: from an alchemic product to a worldwide strategic resource.
Following the visit to the museum, visitors may go on a fascinating visit to the belly of the mountain, climbing aboard a miner’s wagon and riding to 250 metres underground along a tunner where various work-spaces have been reconstructed, complete with tools and machinery. The experience deepens understanding of particularly meaningful moments in the history of mining, and illustrates the evolution of different work systems from the 1920s to the 1950s.