Before the tourist boom that has invaded the island since the 1960s, the economy of Elba was largely based on the mining industry. The iron deposits of the island are among the oldest in the world, they were well known to the Etruscans, Romans and Greeks. The latter in particular called it Aethalia “the sooty” just for the intense extractive activity it supported.
The whole territory of the Island of Elba is rich in mineral deposits, but only those of Capoliveri and Rio Marina are open to the public for guided tours.
In particular, from the Mineralogical Museum of Rio Marina you can access to the protected area of the Mining Park. These are the oldest mines and excavation wells on the island and therefore have a huge scientific and historical value.
Inside the park there are walking tours along the paths used in the past by the same miners and also fun trips on board a characteristic train. The paths lead to the discovery of lunar landscapes, reddish sandy territory, the remains of old mining facilities, abandoned shipyards. The guides that accompany visitors show the various mineral species and the extraction techniques used over time.

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