Museo Storico Etnografico del Minatore e del Cavatore [Ethnographic Historical Museum of Miners and Quarrymen]
The Museum was instituted in 1999 thanks to Publio Biagini, son of a stonemason, who began collecting in 1967 and became owner of one of the many quarries of pietra serena in the area. It purposes to document the traditional extraction activities and the working of the pietra serena of Vellano, capital of the "Pesciatine Switzerland", with an exhibition itinerary abounding in tools, machinery and artefacts, completed by life-size reconstructions of mine interiors, with visual and sound effects.
The collection of mining equipment is formed by tools used by miners especially in the 19th and 20th centuries, though it also contains older exhibits. It includes, in particular, hand and motor-operated excavation utensils, explosives and powder-depot equipment, objects for lighting, masks, helmets and water-flasks, chemical reagents and instruments to identify the material extracts. There is also a geo-palaeontological collection and a mineral collection containing numerous varieties of minerals found in Tuscany, many of them rare. The collections are exhibited in three rooms, while large machinery is on show in the garden.
Texts by Donato Monaco
English translation by Victor Beard
Last update 11/feb/2008