Abbadia San Salvatore is a town of about 7,000 people, 70 km south of Sienna and west of the Autostrada and railway from Florence to Rome. It was founded in the mid-8th century, and takes its name from an important Benedictine monastery. It is situated on the eastern slopes of Mount Amatio, an extinct volcano that rises to a 1738 m high summit that is crowned by a colossal iron cross, erected in 1910. The mountain was one of Europe’s riches sources of cinnabar, the mineral from which mercury is obtained. While there is evidence of mining from prehistoric times onwards, large-scale workings took place between 1897 and the early 1970s, when cinnabar was extracted from both adits and shafts, and processed in the vicinity.
Parco Museo Minerario offers three routes to visit: The multimedia route “I Luoghi del Mercurio (Mercury’s places)” leads into the building named “Ex Officina Meccanica” and highlights the historical and human mining culture of Amiata mountain. The didactic underground route “Galleria Livello VII (Tunnel level VII)” presents a typical mining tunnel, where representative workplaces of six mining phases and the coalfaces with cinnabar are reproduced using old machines and tools in an evocative atmosphere of sounds and smells. It can be visited on foot or by an electrical original mining train. The Clock Tower “Torre dell’Orologio” houses the historical museum about the mining park.
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daily 09.30am-12.30pm and 3.30-6.30pm