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.
Multimedial and interactive exhibits of the former workshop: opening the iron lockers, it is possible to relive the personal stories of miners, through audio and video recordings as well as original objects, including work clothes and tools, and even good-luck charms. An understanding of their life emerges, full of hard work, dangerous conditions, and difficulties, yet also solidarity and the struggle for rights.
Galleria VII (Tunnel VII): aboard one of the original electric trams used by miners to reach their work stations, anecdotes and stories of life in the past become present once more in a unique, surreal atmosphere.
Mining Museum Park of Abbadia San Salvatore
Piazzale Renato Rossaro, 6
53021 Abbadia San Salvatore
Tel. 0577 778324; 0577 770317 (Ufficio Turistico)
Saturday and sunday, 8.30AM /12:30 PM | 3:30 PM /6:30 PM
Every day, 9:30 AM /12:30 PM | 3:30 PM /6:30 PM
Visits need to be booked. Pleas call 0577778324.
Other days on request for groups of at least 10 paying people.
the ticket includes a guided tour (about 2 hours) with departure at 10am – 10.40am – 11.30am – 3.30pm – 4.10pm – by reservation: email@example.com
Many different tickets are available: for information on fares, reduced prices and booking, please contact the museum
free admission for children under 6 years
The first settlement in Abbadia San Salvatore was the ancient Benedictine abbey, around which the Medieval town later grew up, surrounded even today by its defensive walls. The abbey, dedicated to San Salvatore, was founded in 750 by a Lombard nobleman, and it became extremely powerful and wealthy by the 12th century. San Salvatore was also an important centre of culture. It still houses a copy of the so-called Bibbia Amiatina, or Amiata Bible, considered to be the oldest and most complete dcoument of the Bible in its Latin version, entrusted to the custody of the monks here by Pope Gregory II. In modern times, the history of the city came to be defined by the mining complex where cinnabar and mercury where extracted. The mines remained active in Abbadia San Salvatore from 1899 to the mid-1970s.