Centro di Documentazione Miniera di Ribolla

Useful Information

Location: Piazza della Libertà, 3 – località Ribolla.
(42.969562, 11.038068)
Open: All year Mon, Wed 9-13, 14-18, Tue, Thu, Fri 9-13.
Classification: SubterraneaMining Museum MineLignite Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography: Elena Scapigliati (2004): Da Ribolla al Parco minerario. Storia, arte, letteratura e comunicazione di un territorio Roccastrada, 2004, p. 132. Italiano - Italian
Maria Palazzesi (1983): Ribolla: storia di un villaggio minerario Il leccio, Siena 1983 Italiano - Italian
Address: Centro di Documentazione Miniera di Ribolla, Piazza della Libertà, 3 – località Ribolla, Roccastrada (GR), Tel: +39-0564-4578033. 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.
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1858 mines opened by Luigi Ferrari Corbelli.
1870-1890 first barracks built at the mines.
04-MAY-1954 mine explosion at the Camorra Sud mine kills 43 miners.
2010 Park was included in the World Network of UNESCO Geoparks.



The Centro di Documentazione Miniera di Ribolla (Ribolla Mine Documentation Centre) is located inside the Roccastrada Ribolla Civic Centre. The former cinema Mori was renovated and contains now two large halls, one with 200 seats, and an exhibition space. Beneath being a Civic Centre with offices and services, musical and theatrical events, it is also a mining museum dedicated to Ribolla’s mining past and the memory of the tragic events of 4 May 1954. It is called a Gateway to the Park, as it is a good starting point to geotopes and mining heritage in the area.

The sites around Ribolla are Ferriere Farma, Roccafederighi (Roccatederighi mine and Acquanera mine), Poggio Mozzeto and Ribolla. Mining started in the Etruscan period. Medieval mining can be seen at Roccatederighi and Sassoforte. Along the Farma stream, in Torniella, there is an interesting system of ironworks. The lignite mining activity started in the 19th century with the Ribolla, Montemassi and Casteani mines.

Ribolla is a mining village which was built from nothing in the second half of the 19th century around the mines. When the mines where closed at the end of the 1950s, it continued to exist "despite" the closed mine. The mines were "difficult", because the lignite deposits were of irregular shape, subject to flooding, and contained dangerous methane gas which caused frequent explosions. Also, during the summer months there was the danger of malaria. As a result they were not really profitable. During the wars they were of great importance but after World War II they were no longer competitive on the Italian and international market. The company planned to dismiss 1,300 miners, which caused strikes by the Miners' Union. Then there was the mine explosion at the Camorra Sud mine which killed 43 miners on 04-MAY-1954. Public dismay and anger finally caused the closure of the mines and caused the emigration of many workers to other provinces.

The Parco delle Colline Metallifere (Tuscan Mining GeoPark) is a UNESCO World GeoPark. During the formation of the Northern Apennines the rocks of the Mesozoic were uplifted and are now on the surface. There are geotopes showing sedimentary basins and intrusive magmatic plutons, relief inversions, and geothermal reservoirs. The Metalliferous Hills are one of the most important mining districts in Europe. There are deposits of copper, iron, lead and silver, exploited since ancient times. It started with the mining of copper during the Copper Age, about 3000 years BC. The mining ended with the mining of pyrite for the production of sulfuric acid in the late 20th century.