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Cavriglia, MINE Museum
Photo © @Studiowiki Davide Busetto - Archivio fotografico Valdarno Aretino
Photo © @Studiowiki Davide Busetto - Archivio fotografico Valdarno Aretino

Cavriglia between history, nature and sports

A Valdarno town at the gateway to Chianti

Valdarno
by  Valdarno

History, nature and sports: this is a winning combination that characterizes Cavriglia as an ideal destination for all tastes. Located on the border with the Chianti region, it is an area that has a long mining tradition, offers many green spaces where you can spend moments of relaxation and dirt paths to explore by bicycle.

Contents
  • 1.
    Cavriglia and the lignite mines
  • 2.
    From the mines to the MINE museum and nature area
  • 3.
    Biking, sailing and golf
  • 4.
    Sports and Art and nature

Cavriglia and the lignite mines

Cavriglia's name and history are inseparable from its past mining tradition. Visiting these places takes your mind back to when the mines of Castelnuovo dei Sabbioni dominated this area with their frenetic activity, making it a real beating heart of the regional and national industry. During the tumultuous era of World War I, these mines were at their most productive, employing up to 5,000 miners, including locals and prisoners, who worked tirelessly in the depths of the earth. The precious lignite that flowed from here not only fueled the local economy, but also shaped the surrounding landscape. In 1955, the underground tunnels were replaced by an open pit mine, creating a new visual scenery that transformed the region. A change that also marked the displacement of communities, from the old village of Castelnuovo dei Sabbioni to the new mining village of Santa Barbara, closer to San Giovanni Valdarno. In 1983, the old village of Castelnuovo dei Sabbioni was permanently abandoned.

From the mines to the MINE museum and nature area

MINE museum in Cavriglia
MINE museum in Cavriglia - Credit: Valentina Dainelli

To recount in a compelling and engaging way the change, of the landscape and not only, that has transformed the face of these places over the years, in the ancient village of Castelnuovo dei Sabbioni, MINE, the Mining and Memory Museum, was born, bringing the history of these lands back to life. From the terrace of the museum, the gaze is lost in the enchanting panorama that opens up to Santa Barbara. What was once the realm of the mines is now a lush green oasis, enhanced by the striking artificial lake of Castelnuovo dei Sabbioni.

During the Marzocchina, a traditional vintage cycle race in the Valdarno Aretino, it is possible to explore by bicycle the lands once ploughed by mine workers, adding a dynamic touch to this fascinating fusion of history and nature.

Biking, sailing and golf

The Lake of San Cipriano
The Lake of San Cipriano

In the territory of Cavriglia there is also the charming Lake of San Cipriano, a perfect refuge for spending moments of relaxation and also ideal for sailing enthusiasts, who can practice this exciting sport here. But sailing is not the only sporting activity offered in this area. In addition to evocative bike trails, Cavriglia boasts Valdarno's only golf course, which, with its 9 holes and a par 35, stands out for its "championship" standards and attention to the environment, respecting the surrounding ecosystem and promoting water sustainability. Currently undergoing expansion, with work underway to bring the course to an impressive 18-hole configuration, this modern facility aims for continuous improvement to make the golf experience ever more complete and meaningful for the fans of this sport.

Sports and Art and nature

Bellosguardo circuit in Cavriglia
Bellosguardo circuit in Cavriglia

Finally, the harmony between sports, history and art is most clearly manifested in the park of Bellosguardo circuit: a large open-air gym where joggers can enjoy an open-air run in a setting enhanced by artistic sculptures.

In Cavriglia, every hamlet hides something special worth discovering. Each corner tells a piece of the history of the area and offers a new experience to live, inviting you to fully grasp its richness and seek out its beauty beyond the mere glance.

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