Via Massetana Nord, 21, 58024 Massa Marittima GR, Italia
This museum is near the historic center of Massa Marittima and is housed in the historical underground mine tunnels, which were enlarged during World War II to serve as bomb shelters for the population. The museum’s purpose is to showcase the lifestyles and work habits linked to the local mining culture, to remember an activity that has now ended and that has indelibly marked the history of the town. For decades, in fact, mining has been the backbone of the local economy, which was based almost entirely on the extraction and processing of sulfide minerals.
The Mining Museum was founded in 1980 by some retired miners and is structured as a real mine with three galleries on one level. As a result, the path is 700 meters long. It showcases not only minerals but also objects, tools and machineries used by the miners of this area of Tuscany.
In some parts of the galleries, the various reinforcement systems can already be seen: from the classic wood reinforcements to those using metallic net, to brick walls with planks of wood. The working methods have also been reconstructed: the “filling” method, that is, excavating the mineral and then filling the part just emptied at the same time, and the “collapsing roof” method, that is, taking down the reinforcements and therefore making part of the gallery collapse once the extraction session has finished.