• 2023.02.28
  • Blog Liguria - The underground mines “resurface” to life!
The digging of mines in Liguria started thousands of years ago when prehistoric man abandoned stone and began the extraction of copper ore, giving way to the Metal Age.
Nowadays, about two decades ago, the Mount Loreto mine, also called Gambatesa mine, was inaugurated as an archaeological-mining museum with the aim of telling a unique story, which was lost over time and then rediscovered.

The museum hosts conferences and seminars but also workshops for schools, groups and families and furthermore, an archaeological site where it is possible to reconstruct the geological history of the place.
One can also visit the mining gallery where, equipped with a helmet, you are accompanied by an expert guide to discover the mining activities of the late 1800s and the peculiarities of the underground environments.
The experience was reopened after safety and modernization works but it’s currently closed once again because they are looking for a new management.
In Italy when such a site belongs partially to the region and partially to the municipality ii is located in, the management changes often as it is regulated by public grants organized through public competitions.

I had visited the mine before the pandemic and it was an awesome and rewarding experience.
The visit allows you to discover what is inside a real mine and to explore the sounds, atmospheres and sensations of a journey into the bowels of the Earth; it is therefore a unique and truly engaging experience.
Opened in the 1800s for the extraction of manganese, the mine was one of the largest in Europe, registering up to 200 miners working on the site, and it remained active, albeit in a reduced form, until about 12 years ago, alongside the Mining Museum which in the meantime had been opened at the turn of the 21st century.
After years of closure, thanks to the commitment of the Liguria Region and the Aveto Park, which had heavily invested in the safety and relaunch project, it became one of the attractions of the area and of the whole region.
The Aveto Park is a territory which preserves real naturalistic and cultural treasures, not to mention the gastronomic delicacies typical of this area such as Canestrelli biscuits, chestnuts and local goat cheeses.
This mine is truly a gem that few people know. Children but adults alike are fascinated by the history of the earth and of the human beings who have dug for years to extract its precious materials.The mine is offered to visitors in its original state, adequate for visitor access safety regulations but maintaining its peculiar characteristics.
The path includes the entrance to the mine with the characteristic and rattling miners' train, made up of ore wagons modified to allow the transport of people and a pedestrian path along the main tunnel.
The walking surface is made of clay and along the railway network the lighting is kept minimal but sufficient to allow you to move around the mine safely while the temperature inside is constant at 13-15°C and the environment is very humid so, due to these characteristics, suitable clothing and comfortable footwear are recommended (due to the high humidity and the peculiarities of the underground environment, there may be small puddles too).
This is the first experimental opening in Italy of a mining museum with a visit by train.
I truly hope that the public competition now in progress will allow for it to reopen for the Spring or Summer time when it’s best to visit it for the milder temperatures in the area.

Mine Tours


  • Patrizia Margherita
  • Jobtranslator, interpreter, teacher

Although she was born in Italy, she is half Italian and half American and she has become a "multicultural person" who can speak five languages. She has lived and worked in the US, Brazil, Australia, France and the UK so she considers herself a citizen of the world. When she is not teaching or translating, she likes cooking Italian food, hiking and traveling around the world...She has traveled to 80 countries and counting!

View a list of Patrizia Margherita's

What's New


What's New