Situated in the heart of the Val di Cornia, the San Silvestro Archaeological Mines Park covers 450 hectares and contains unique examples of the mining and metallurgical cycle, from the Etruscan era to the present day.
The routes for visiting encompass museums, mining tunnels, a Medieval village of miners and foundrymen founded around one thousand years ago (Rocca San Silvestro).
Equipped with helmets and coloured waterproofs it is possible to walk inside the Miniera del Temperino mine, an evocative 360 metre tunnel where visitors can discover a broad range of rocks and minerals and the traces of the work of the miners.
Aboard the mining train you can cross the Lanzi-Temperino tunnel where the shapes and colours of the minerals will take the visitors on a discovery of an extraordinary underground world.
At the end of the ride you will reach the Lanzi Valley and the begining of the uphill trail that leads to the striking Rocca di San Silvestro. This abbandoned medieval village of miners and smiths, was founded by village lords between the tenth and eleventh centuries in order to exploit the abundant local deposits of copper and silver-bearing lead ore. Here visitors can follow an itinerary designed to show the social and economic organisation, the eating habits, the building and metallurgical techniques of a medieval community.
Cover image credit: Paolo Biondi