01-MAR to 15-MAR Sat 17:30-19:30, Sun 10:30-12:30.
16-MAR to 31-MAR Tue-Sat 17:30-19:30, Sun 10:30-12:30, 17:30-19:30.
APR JUL Tue-Sun 10:30-12:30, 17:30-19:30.
AUG daily 10:30-12:30, 17:30-19:30, 21-23.
SEP to OCT Tue-Sun 10:30-12:30, 17:30-19:30.
NOV to 15-DEC Tue-Fri 17:30-19:30, Sat, Sun 10:30-12:30, 17:30-19:30.
16-DEC tp 31-DEC daily 10:30-12:30, 17:30-19:30.
Adults EUR 2, Seniors (70+) EUR 1.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 1.50, School Children EUR 1.
Museo delle Miniere, Piazza Garibaldi 25, 58037 Santa Fiora (GR), Tel: +39-0564-977142, Fax: +39-0564-979621.
Comune di Santa Fiora, Santa Fiora, Tel: +39-0564-979611.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1973||begin of mercury crisis.|
|1982||begin of closures.|
|1984||end of mining.|
|2002||Museo delle Miniere opened to the public.|
Monte Amiata is the largest of the lava domes in the Amiata lava dome complex. A massive viscous trachydacitic lava flow extends five kilometer to the east and is four kilometer wide. The major eruptive episode happened some 300,000 years ago, according to radiometric dates. There are no eruptions during the last 180,000 years, but there is thermal activity until today around Bagnore. The thermal activity is responsible for the cinnabar mineralization.
The mercury ore cinnabar (mercury sulfide, HgS) is a beautiful red mineral. The area is famous for a wealth of minerals which can be found here. Beneath cinnabar minerals, there is dawsonite (NaAlCO3(OH)2), millerite (NiS) and Realgar (As4S4).
The Parco Minerario del Monte Amiata (Mount Amiata Mining Park) covers the slopes of Mount Amiata. The Museo delle Miniere (Mine Museum) at Santa Fiora is part of this park. It was opened to the public in 2002 and is located in the Palazzo Sforza Cesarini in Santa Fiora.
Main topic are the mercury mines of the area, the techniques of prospecting and extracting cinnabar. It is used as a pigment and heated to extract the mercury. During the heating process the mercury is reduced and becomes a gas which is condensed. The mercury gas is very dangerous to he health of the workers.
The museum has a reconstruction of a mine tunnel complete with the tools used in the mines. It was built by former miners. One section is dedicated to the use of mercury in the course of time. Another one to aspects of a social nature, such as the health problems of the workers and the problems with the closing of the mines. The workers were not only confronted with normal mining accidents like rock falls, mine explosions, poisonous gas, and silicosis. There was also the danger of mercury poisoning.
The archaeological section shows numerous mining tools like sledge hammers, picks, axes and mattock hoes, which were found in excavations. The oldest mining relics date back 5,000 years. The cinnabar was reportedly used by the Etruscans to colour terracotta, paint the frescoes in their tombs and it was traded with the Orient.