The iron mines of Elba island were discovered by the Etruscans in the 8th Century and they were the first to export the precious metal all over the Mediterranean. There was, at the time, such intensive mining activity that Aristotle wrote that Greeks had called the island “Aethalia”, which means “spark”. This was due to the numerous furnaces where the minerals were processed. Later on the Romans named the island “Ilva”, which means “iron”.
On the island there are more than 150 varieties of minerals, among the most common are: pyrites, tourmaline, magnetite, topaz, quartz, beryl... Mount Calamita, two kms from Morcone, is the most interesting part of the island from the geological point of view: it is rich in schist, gneiss and marble and has distinctive red soil. Near Porto Azzurro, the 2nd most important port of the Island there are numerous mineral shops, the reconstruction of an old mine and the lake called Terranera
SINCE 2005 IT IS POSSIBILE TO VISIT THE MINES OF MOUNT CALAMITA
With busses the tourists will be taken at the Mines of Vallone and Ginevro.