The lignite mines at Monteverdi Marittimo
among the most important deposits in Tuscany
Going back along the route of the old railway that flanked the Ritasso Torrent to reach the mine area, we reach the Villetta basin, an ancient lake basin surrounded by reliefs partly made up of ophiolites.
At the buildings of Podernuovo and Villetta, now used for agritourism activities, around the middle of the nineteenth century one of the most important lignite deposits in southern Tuscany was discovered: mining, on and off, continued until 1942, but it was abandoned because it is not economically viable, despite the massive efforts that led to the construction of the ligneous railway linking with Casino di Terra.
From the mineralogical point of view, along the slopes above the mine, interesting samples of chalcedony and quartz, already known from the sixteenth century and extracted by will of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, can be found in correspondence with ancient excavations of hard stones mosaic works.