The history of Montecatini Val di Cecina is tied to the ancient mines in Camporciano, which remained active until 1907. The mine, which is still visible less than a kilometre away from the town centre, marked a historical milestone in the field of copper extraction. It wasn’t by chance that the Etruscans were the first to exploit the abundant natural resources of this area, using the precious mineral to forge tools and ornamental furnishings.
The Mining Museum allows for the preservation and exploration of these important historical monuments in industrial archaeology. The complex narrates the history of men, their diligence and their initiative which often turned the labourers and artisans into real artists. From Pozzo Alfredo, the cornerstone of the mine, workers would descend over 300m below ground to extract the precious copper.
Today, some of the 19th-century tunnels can still be visited (the tunnel network extends 35km and up to 315m in depth), as is the tower of Pozzo Alfredo (with the original elevator hoist) and the Church of Santa Barbara, the symbol of the devotion the miners had for their patron saint.