Via Mario Massari, 23, 28886 Pieve Vergonte VB.
A26 motorway towards Gravellona Toce, SS 33 (E62) del Sempione, take Pieve Vergonte exit.
Summer Sat, Sun 10-12, 14:30-16.
Adults EUR 15.
|Classification:||Gold Mine Écomusée|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||L=17 km, A=815 m asl, T=10 °C.|
|Guided tours:||D=1 h, L=500 m.|
Ecomuseo delle miniere di Valtoppa, Via Mario Massari, 23, 28886 Pieve Vergonte VB, Tel: +39-0324-86122.
Guida Escursionistica Mauro Conti, Tel: +39-348-3178185. E-mail:
Municipality of Pieve Vergonte, Tel +39-0324-86265.
|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.
|16th century||oldest found mine galleries, probably begin of mining.|
|19th century||begin of industrial gold mining by the company The Pestarena Gold Mining Co. Ltd.|
|1935||taken over by the Rumianca company.|
|1947||end of mining.|
The gold deposits of Val Toppa are of hydrothermal origin. The veins of quartz contain varying amounts sulphides, such as pyrite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, pyrrhotine and galena. They also contain low amounts of gold and silver, which are obviously despite the low amount of high value. The mines were operated for the gold since antiquity. The surrounding rock is schist which is called scisti di fobello e rimella (fobello and rimella schist).
The Ecomuseo delle miniere di Valtoppa (Mining Museum Val Toppa) is located in the town Pieve Vergonte. For thos who do not want to walk to the mine, or are not able to, it allos a deep insight into the history, the geology, and the beauty of the minerals. It is located in the town, in a building of the municipality. The visit is included in the visit to the show mine, but it is also possible to visit only the museum. Otherwise, we guess they have the same open hors as the mine, which are given above. We strongly suggest to contact the Municipality of Pieve Vergonte befor you go their, to get an update on the situation. It is currently closed, but we guess its due to Covid-19.
The museum is the starting point for tours into the show mine Miniere d’oro della Val Toppa (Val Toppa Mine), which is located on the hillside high above the town. It is not far, only 1.3 km as the crow flies, but the village is at 220 m asl and the mine at 815 m asl. The necessary time for walking up is given with two hours, with the mine tour and probably a snack you should plan at least five hours, so this is definitely a day trip. The path is called the Old Miners Path and offers nice views. But it is also a sparsely frequented and poorly signposted path. It ends at the high pasture Ca’ Bianca del Minatore, which is surrounded by numerous abandoned gold mines. One mine tunnel has recently undergone reclamation and development work, and is safely visited with a guide, cloak and helmet are provided.
The guide Mauro Conti offers tours including the walk. Meeting point is the parking lot of the Pizzeria Gianni and Pinotto in Pieve Vergonte at 8:30. His tours have a knack, you are driven by car to Fomarco at 720 m asl, from here is a 4 km walk but only 80 m height difference, downhill. Then the mine tour and a lunch. And the tour includes gold panning in the afternoon, a great fun for kids.