Caporciano Mine in Montecatini Val di Cecina
A trip to the center of the earth
Caporciano is one of the most ancient and famous copper mines in Italy. The first documentation of mining in Caporciano dates back to 1469, when Bartolomeo di Agostino, a goldsmith from Florence, took over the research. The mining activity stopped for six years because of the plague, and a big landslide forced the workers to stop again once they tried to resume in 1636.
The Mining Industry Society, founded in 1827, gave new life to the mine and the area. In the first years after the Society’s foundation, copper from Caporciano was exported to as far as England. The copper field was divided into two parts called the “Red Strand” (“Filone Rosso”) and the “White Strand” (“Filone Bianco”), which was the richest one.
The tunnels are built on 10 different stories, but only the more superficial ones can be visited today.
The Mining Museum in Montecatini explores the activity which made Caporciano the richest mine in Europe between 1827 and 1907.