Until recently, Abbadia San Salvatore was a mining town, as is shown in the museum dedicated to the mining industry. Through this Museo Minerarario one can visit, guided by an ex-miner, the corridors where the mercury was extracted. The mine was closed in 1972. The area where the mines were located is now a nature park.
Mining Museum Park Abbadia San Salvatore
Opening hours and entrance fee
Address: Piazzale R. Rosario, 6/Via Suor Gemma, 1 – 53021 Abbadia San Salvatore. Telephone: (+39) 0577 778324. Opening hours: From June 15 to November 1 + holidays from 09:30 to 12:30 and from 15:30 to 18:30. Entrance fee: 3 Euro; discount 2 Euro. Closed: In winter the museum is only open on Saturdays and Sundays,
History and Description
The park is located in the Monte Amiata mining region. For a long time, this area was one of the most important sites of cinnabar in the world. Cinnabar is the most important kind of mercury ore. The museum is housed in the ancient Torre dell’Orologio.
The collection of the museum consists of minerals, tools used in the extraction of the ore and photographs of the miners.
A train takes visitors along a long corridor where a reconstruction of the miners’ working environment has been created. In five different spaces, you can witness the various stages in the extraction of the minerals.
In the 1970’s the mines were closed. Till then , almost every family in the city had one or more members working in the mines. The guided tour is led by a man who used to work there himself, from a very young age.
The patron saint of miners is Santa Barbara. A festival in her honor is still celebrated every year in early December.