Discovering the four most beautiful mining sites in the Maremma, with protected areas, steaming ground and mines that can be visited
Renowned for its beaches, rolling hills covered with vineyards and lush Mediterranean scrub, Tuscany also contains places of great mining value, linked to human activity or particular soil characteristics. A visit to the miners’ galleries and the archaeo-mineral parks is an essential part of discovering the Maremma, places that tell the story of a new territory and bear witness to the mining activity that has always been carried out in this area.
The Parco delle Biancane borders an area characterised by pools of boiling water and boric acid fumaroles that create a unique and mysterious atmosphere; one moves over steaming ground that changes colour abruptly as one moves up the hill: it goes from deep red to yellow ochre to brilliant white. Once at the top, the sulphurous steam of the soffioni gives way to a wide panorama that sweeps over the surrounding vegetation and reaches the coast of Piombino and Punta Ala.
If walking on the surface doesn’t seem enough, the San Silvestro Archaeo-mineral Park is a must-see. This is a protected natural area where you can visit the mine and its galleries, in an evocative itinerary that descends into the bowels of the earth, telling the story of geological eras and bearing witness to the life of the miners who worked there.
Further inland in the Maremma region, there is also the mine of Gavorrano, which can be visited on foot; in the tunnels you go with a guide and descend, literally and metaphorically, into the life that the miners led. The activities of the miners and the conditions under which they lived are recreated along the entire route, which ends with the exit to the quarry, which can also be visited.
Finally, the MAGMA museum in Follonica shows the most artistic and suggestive side of metalworking. This is the Museum of Cast Iron Arts of the Maremma, housed in a former furnace dedicated to the iron and steel industry that has made the fortune of the area; here not only is the activity and working of the metal narrated, but above all the creativity of man through a multimedia, immersive and technological itinerary that can involve adults as well as children.