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Arts and mining cuture...*

THE ART AND THE CULTURE OF THE MINES..

The eastern side of the Island, from Porto Azzurro to Rio Marina, from Capoliveri to Cavo, represents the mining heart of Elba, where each of these little villages, hidden among enchanting gulfs and castled on steep haughtiness, tell about their own remote history of old miners and about the most important activity of the whole Island: the mining.

In Rio Marina, there are many deserted mines and quarries, that testify the historical and archaeological value of the mining activity. During the years, those mines have characterized the whole area, giving a particular reddish colour to the surrounding hills and to the oldest houses, because of the huge quantity of iron, haematite, pyrite and quartz that still exists.
In the old palace of mines direction, today Parco Minerario Elbano, in the centre of the village, there’s a big minerals’ exposition coming from all the parts of Elba, together with a photographic documentation and illustration of their extraction places.
This Mining Museum, realized in a real size, shows the different ways to mineralise the rock, and the extraction’ s techniques used in the centuries. Inside, have been reproduced the forger men’s workshop, the shelter of the miners and a little tunnel: all that rebuilt, using materials found in the old yards. Many photos and old stamps represent the life’s style of that important historical period.

Going on with our mining visit in the surrounding, we could walk around the Iron Mines, along well signed courses together with a specialized guide, to discover old mining yards, some of those exploited during the Etruscan and Roman periods.
In these mines, in the “Cantiere del Bacino”, we could find interesting pyrite’s and haematite’s samples and of other kind of minerals, and in the meanwhile know the different techniques used to extract them.

In Porto Azzurro, to always remember the importance of this activity, it has been reproduced along the road that leads to Rio nell’Elba, a mine in a reduced size, La Piccola Miniera, a little mine that long an underground route ( its duration is about 15 minutes), each visitor can observe the working and the transformation of minerals.
A little train will lead you under along this underground course, and after it, you will find the Museo Minerario Etrusco, (Mining Etruscan Museum), where a huge minerals’ collection and samples of the mining life style are showed.

At north-east of Porto Azzurro, long the road leading to Rio Marina, we find the lake “ Il laghetto di Terranera” , separated from the sea by a fine sand strip, born in the place, where originally there was a pyrite’s mine.
Interesting for its mining value, but also fascinating for its beautiful landscape: a fresh-water sulphur source, feeds the lake, and gives to it a yellow colour in right contrast with the blue of the sea.

These are the tracks, that Etrusco Hotel suggest to You, but many others just wait for you, in order to discover that part of Elba Island, so rich and precious…!!