Montecatini’s fame is linked to the ancient copper mines of Caporciano, which remained active until 1907. Already the Etruscans extracted the mineral to forge tools and furnishings. The mining activity was the most important in Europe during the 19th century. It was here that the Montecatini company, one of Europe’s largest companies, was born and took its name, later merging with Montedison. Its history is documented in the <a href=”https://volterratur.it/?post_type=poi&p=41241″ target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”><strong>Mining Museum</strong></a>, which – with the industrial archaeology park and the mining village – offers visitors of all ages the opportunity for a fascinating journey into the bowels of the earth among shafts and galleries, to learn about mining technologies and the stories of the miners. Excavation was divided into ten levels of galleries joined by a number of shafts, the most important of which were the Alfredo and Rostand shafts. The height above sea level ranged from 477 m. (entrance to the mine) to 193 m. (lowest level). A long drainage tunnel (over 1,300 m.) carried the water to Macinaia. A maximum of 350 workers worked in all the mining activities. In 80 years, about 50,000 tonnes of copper metal were extracted.
In summer, the mine becomes an attractive venue for shows and concerts.