A journey through Technology and Earth Scienc
Our planet and clean energy: a unique path
The museum in Larderello, with free admission, allows you to learn about geothermal energy and its natural phenomena. In addition to the museum rooms it is possible to discover the covered “lagone” and the thermal spring. When you make or your group makes a reservation to join a tour, you will visit a Soffione Boracifero (a form of a geyser) and a geothermal power plant.
Founded by the Larderello Spa company at the end of the 1950s, the museum is now equipped with the most modern Museographer Techniques which takes you on a path through the uses of Geothermal Energy in the Etruscan and Medieval periods and then leads you onto the Industrial Era with the discovery of electrical advancements. You then can observe the current challenge we face to today aimed at enhancing sustainable energy sources and renewable resources.
The museum at Larderello: Geothermal Energy explained
An accurate, clear and fascinating path to learn about nature and science
Founded by Larderello Spa at the end of the 1950s it is housed in Palazzo de Larderel, recently restored and furnished with the most modern techniques of museum-graphics.
A journey that starts from the use of this resource in the Etruscan and medieval period, taking us up to the industrial development and to the contemporary challenge of sustainable energy.
In 1913 the first ever geothermal plant was built. Today the plants are the pulsing heart of the geothermal system and together with those on Amiata produce about the 27% of the total electrical needs of Tuscany.
The Geothermal Energy Museum ofis open all the year round (see timetable), open to groups and individuals, it is particularly suitable for school visits which can include several didactic activities on geothermal power and its natural phenomena. The visit includes, beside the museum rooms, the plastic-model room (with slides that show the origin of geothermal energy, the research, the drilling activity and the electrical plants), the covered lagone and the thermal spring. For groups, booking is compulsory, a visit to a geyser and a geothermal-electrical plant can be arranged. The visit to the museum also includes a documentary on the origins of geothermic energy, technical research, drilling and the power stations plus a visit to a “covered lake” or dome for the collection of steam and a hot spring . Guided tours to a steam jet and a geothermal power station are organized on request (booking only).
Drilled in 1956, 740 metres deep and 9”5/8 wide, it produces about 10 tons of fluid per hour at a temperature of 180°C. Composition of the fluid: 96% steam, and 4% incondensable gases. The tutorial opening of the well is included in the guided visit of the Museum.
Geothermic activity dates back to antiquity. A 3rd century Roman military map Tabula Itineraria Peutingeriana identifies the Aquas Volaternas and the Aque Populanie and a circular lake which probably represents the area of numerous hot boric water lakes.
The Aquas Volaternas have been identified as the baths of Bagno a Morba near Larderello which were particularly appreciated during the Middle Ages and Renaissance for the curative properties of the water. Any trace of the Aquas Populanie were completely lost until an archaeological dig in the area of Sasso Pisano uncovered Etruscan and Roman baths, named Bagno del Re, which undoubtedly places the Aquas Populanie.
Industrial utilization of the hot water springs in Larderello had already begun in the 18th century when boric acid was discovered and the steam jets were utilized for the production of electricity after the first experiment in 1904.