Sassoferrato - Marche Region - Italy
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Cabernardi Archaeomineral Park

Sassoferrato, a timeless journey in history


The history of the mining area of Cabernardi, small town of the municipality of Sassoferrato, began around the mid-1870s. On July 9th 1877 it was announced the statement of discovery and transfer of a sulphur deposit in Percozzone’s area. On June 6th 1878, the consent for a mining activity was given to a Company owned by Francesco Armando Buhl, Eugenio Buhl and Andrea Federico Deinhard.

In 1899, the company Trezza-Albani acquired Cabernardi’s mine. The change of ownership implied an increase in the number of workers that in 1904 rose from 200 to 300.

In 1917 the mine was sold to Montecatini General Company for the mining industry. In 1920 the numbers of employees reached the record of 840. During the same year the strikes began, continuing the following year as well. They aimed at the abolition of a reduction of the allowance high cost of living.

For years, the mine was towing the economy of a vast area, from Sassoferrato to Arcevia and to Pergola. During the first months of 1952, the work force was filled by about 1400 employees with an average output of 870 tonnes of mineral.

The report from the 6th of May 1952 made by the Montecatini Society shows that the mine area was about to run dry and it was envisaged a decrease of manufacture and consequently of employment. The optimum seemed to be an amount of 400-500 tons per day; this implied a variable total of 665 to 817 workers respectively.

This meant a severe reduction of over the half of the employees.

The turmoil started on the 28th of May 1952 with the occupation of the mine (shift from 2 pm to 10 pm).

Before the permanent closure (5th of  May 1959), approximately a hundred workers were  obliged to retire and more than three hundred were relocated between the establishments of Pontelagoscuro, in Tuscany, Sicily and Trentino region. Other workers moved to Belgium.


Opened on the 5th of July 2015, the park is an evocative open-air museum that extends on almost two-acre area. Thanks to a detailed and difficult recovery work, some of the objects that formed the operative unit of the mine are now visible.

During the tour, you can admire the impressive well ‘Donegani’ from where the miners descended in the wide and deep galleries drilled in the underground; the thermal power station and the calcaroni , huge tanks with significantly inclined plane, used for depositing the raw material extracted from the underground , from where through the activation of a combustion process, the liquid sulphur was later extracted

The Gills ovens are  also visible ; build of concrete, these ovens are more recent than the calcaroni, which had the same function but with a more developed technology.

Particularly interesting is the possibility to enter a  gallery that connects the ovens and the calcaroni.

It is perfectly recovered and accessible the so-called “inclined plane”, or the walkway that links the two levels of this area, by which the wagons filled with inert material were raised up and transited.

Another ‘jewel’ brought to life is the deposit of diesel, a basement structure  that has a round shape , now used as an auditorium (more precisely as a multipurpose room for conferences and meetings).

Guided tours available 

November - March : Saturday 4p.m. – Sunday and public holidays 11a.m. ; 4 p.m.

April – October : Saturday 4.30 p.m. , 6 p.m. - Sunday and public holidays 11 a.m.; 4.30 p.m.; 6 p.m..

In August open daily 4.30 p.m.; 6 p.m.