Ecomuseo Miniere di Gorno

Useful Information

Location: From Bergamo SP35 into Val Seriana. Turn left SS46 to Villassio.
Open: Summer daily 15.
Fee: Adults EUR 10.
Classification: MineIron Mine MineCopper Mine MineZinc Mine TopicÉcomusée
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=9 °C, H=90%
Guided tours: D=3.5h
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Address: Ecomuseo Miniere di Gorno, Piazzale Bersaglieri, 24020 Gorno BG, Tel: +39-035-707145. E-mail:
Guides: Cell: +39-320-166-2040. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1914 laveria di Riso constructed.
1917 laveria di Riso operational.
1952 plant fro processing the ore in an electrolytic process built.
12-JAN-1982 mine closed.
2009 Ecomuseum opened to the public.


In the mines around Gorn calamine (zinc metasilicate Zn2Si04) was mined. In later years, when the technology to process it was discovered, blende (zinc sulphide ZnS) and galena (lead sulphide PbS) were also mined.


The Ecomuseo delle Miniere di Gorno (Ecomuseum of the Mines of Gorno) is located in the Upper Seriana Valley in the province of Bergamo. It was created with the material given by villagers or recovered from former mining sites. It shows the history of zinc mining and ore processing. Several videos explain the history and the technology. There is also a mineral exhibition with minerals and ore sample from the local mines. The tour starts with a guided visit to the museum.

After the visit to the museum, the tour enters the Costa Jels mine in groups of 15 persons. The underground tour takes two hours. The mine is located a few kilometers away, visitors have to drive there with their own cars.

There are two more interesting places not far from the museum. The first is the laveria di Riso, the place where lead and zinc minerals were crushed, ground and floated with water and acids. This process separated the metal from the spoil. The construction of ths laveria by the company The English Crown Spelter started in 1914 and it was operational in 1917. The plant was taken over by Vieille Montagne in 1925 and was modified and expanded. It was in operation until the mine was closed.

In 1925 a turbine was installed 1,500 m inside the adit Riso-Parina. It produces enough electricity for the light and machinery in the mine and the nearby towns Gorno, Oneta, and Oltre il Colle. However, the mine carts were pulled in and out of the mine by horses or mules.

The ores were found at the surface and in the beginning were mined in open cast mines. Later the underground mining started, and the tunnels reached 250 m below the valley. The men were working as miners and the women were working as Taissine, ore sorter, outside the mines. The galècc di taissine were children under ten which helped the women sorting ore.