In Campo Tizzoro, a town on the Pistoia Mountains in the municipality of San Marcello Piteglio, you can find industrial factories that once belonged to the SMI, the Società Metallurgica Italiana, one of the most important wartime industries of the 20th century. Here, until the 1980s, cartridges were made, as well as products in copper, bronze and steel. Today, these buildings constitute the museum of the SMI that also include shelters.
The museum route, which winds through the old SMI building, boasts a rich selection representative of the sectors of the production of copper, brass and other special products.
You can admire machines that assemble pieces for the cartridges, rifles, calculators, antiques and original furnishings. The themed rooms exhibit dishes, house furnishings and objects for the personal care (there are also “caps” for lipsticks).
Behind glass, you can see up close 650 ammunition for MP91 and Carcano rifles, the same kind believed to have been used by Lee Harvey Oswald to kill the American President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
There are anti-aircraft shelters, constructed around 20 metres below earth in armed concrete. These “corridor” extends for over 2km; inside them is a first aid department (with beds for the sick), a chapel, and toilets: everything was created to hold around 6 thousand people.
There are still warning signs that advise against walking or smoke, avoiding unnecessary wastes of oxygen.