THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MINES PARK OF SAN SILVESTRO
The San Silvestro Archaeological Mines Park extends over an area of 450 hectares on the hills to the north of Campiglia Marittima. It was created to preserve and make available to the
public a vast mining area which since its origins has been characterised by a close relationship between human settlement and resources, archaeology and landscape.
The area is rich in deposits of silver, copper and lead ores which were exploited from Etruscan times until 1976. Visitors can discover the history of this mining activity by visiting the Temperino Mine, an evocative underground gallery revealing ancient mining techniques, and by taking a trip through the recently opened Lanzi-Temperino gallery on board a mines train. The mining village of Rocca San Silvestro that lies at the heart of the Park was founded between the 10th and the 11th century at the behest of the Gherardesca counts in order to exploit the rich deposits of copper and silver minerals. An itinerary through remains of dwellings, a church, a cemetery, the lord’s quarters and the industrial area illustrates the daily life of a medieval village, the relationship between the people and the lord, and reveals ancient mineral processing methods. The Park visit is completed by access to a network of hiking paths and entrance to museums displaying minerals from the Campigliese area, archaeological finds from the medieval Rocca and an account of the last decades of mining history.
Facilities: visitor centre, guided visits, experimental archaeology available on booking, bookshop, parking, bar, restaurant, hostel, Villa Lanzi convention centre.
THE COASTAL PARKS OF STERPAIA AND RIMIGLIANO
Sterpaia: 10km of splendid beaches overlooking an azure sea and inserted into an extremely precious natural habitat covering dunes, agricultural clearings, wooded areas and a rare coastal stretch of humid forest whose botanic paricularity is represented by monumental dimensions reached by some species.
Rimigliano: it is a strip of green vegetation running down to the sea. A wild landscape running along a low lying sandy shore. 150 hectares of "macchia" shaped by sea breezes and dominated by holm oak and patches of shady pinewood.
Facilities: foothpaths and cycle paths, public conveniences and showers, access to the sea
for the handicapped, picnic areas, refreshment outlets and accommodation facilities. In addition, in the Sterpaia park only: parking for cars and campers, water points and Elsan disposal, bathing facilities, daily beach cleaning.
NATURE RESERVES OF MONTIONI AND POGGIO NERI
Montioni: There are 7000 hectares of tree-covered hills where the visitor can roam along countless paths once used by woodcutters, charcoal burners, shepherds and hunters.
Another feature is mineral exploitation involving alum - the remains of a mining village built by Elisa Bonaparte, Princess of Piombino of the Napoleonic era are still visible.
Poggio Neri: traces of an ancient economy based on charcoal, chestnut and hunting are clearly visible in this park. There is a woodland museum in the park which houses tools and introduces the visitor to the trades and crafts of the forest. It boasts a perfect and detailed reconstruction of the charcoal burner's craft: a traditional hut, a drier and a charcoal pile. To enable everyone to enjoy this natural resource, a path suitable for wheelchairs has been provided.
Facilities: footpaths, cycle and bridle paths, picnic areas. In the Montioni park only:
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK OF BARATTI AND POPULONIA
Stretching over 80 hectares between the slopes of the promontory of Piombino and the Gulf of Baratti, the park is presented as a real open-air museum, glittering with ferrous slag which show the impressiveness of the industrial Etruscan village. The Park includes a significant part of the ancient town of Populonia, a unique Etruscan settlement built directly
on the sea, with its necropolises, the calcarenite quarries and the industrial working quarters. There are two entrances to the Park, one in the Gulf of Baratti (Necropolis) and one in the historic centre of upper Populonia (Acropolis). A network of itineraries links the town’s residential area and its temples to the industrial area and the San Cerbone necropolis with its tumuli and sarcophagus and aedicola tombs (7th – 4th centuries BC) and the Grotte necropolis with its chamber tombs dug into the quarry face (4th – 3rd centuries BC). As in ancient times, the routes follow the original roads, crossing the woods and the Mediterranean scrub and opening up to unexpected views alternating over the Gulf of Baratti
and the Island of Elba. One of these routes leads to another landscape, that of Medieval times.
Facilities: visitor centre, experimental archaeology centre, guided visits, bookshop, parking, refreshment centre/restaurant.