The Valle Trompia, north of Brescia and west of Lake Garda was important as a source of minerals and as an ironworking centre from the middle ages, and mining, chiefly for sphalerite and fluorite continued until 1999. Appreciation of the area’s industrial history was stimulated by an exhibition Le Miniere in Valtrompia staged in 1985 at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Brescia, and local authorities in the area came together in 1997 to establish the Parco Minerale della Valle Trompia (The Mineral Park of the Valle Trompia), which manages and interprets La Via del Ferro (the Iron Road) a series of sites in the region relating to the history of mining and ironworking.
Chief amongst them is the Museo Le Miniere di Pezzaze (the mining museum at Pezzaze) set in the Marzoli iron ore mine, opened in 1886 by the Fratelli Beretta company who used iron made from the ore in the manufacture of armaments. The mine went out of production in 1972. Visitors can explore the mine on 90-minute guided tours which involve travelling 700 m. by train and 800 m. on foot. An audio-visual programme replicates the sounds and the sights of the mine in the days when it was working. The museum includes an exhibition of works of art executed in iron, and it has extensive educational facilities.
The Miniera Aventurra San Aloisio Tassara (Adventure Mine of St Aloysius) near Collio was once the richest mine in the region. Visitors can see the remains of the mine and an exhibition explaining the processing of siderite, the principal type of iron ore found in the region. The mine has been part of the Mineral Park since 2002.
The Forno di Tavernole (the Tavernole furnace) is an ironworks whose origins date from the fifteenth century. It developed into a blast furnace complex, owned from 1874 by Francesco Glisenti, and continued to work until the early years of the twentieth century. The furnace has been part of La Via del Ferro since 2004.
The fourth major site on the trail is the Museo I Magi di Sarezzo, a forge in which billets of wrought iron were shaped into tools. It was owned until its closure in 1984 by the Sanzogni family. The tools and other artefacts in the forge were catalogued by former workers.