Boccheggiano: The 1900 Mines

The unique heart-shaped town of Boccheggiano rises up on a hill ca. 675m a.s.l..
Its history is also deeply linked with the mining activity: untill 1994 was active one of the biggest pyrite-mine in Europe.
During the 19th and the 20th century the mining finding in this area was so wild that it was compared to the West occupation in America.
Clear proof of the mining activity are the red badlands on the river Merse, called “Roste”. These red mountains are the result of an enormous mineral and atmospheric process occurred during the 19th century. Such process gave life to a unique Geosite”
Boccheggiano was the birthplace of Leonardo Agostini; a nice square in the old town center is named after the famous antique dealer.
Worth visiting is the 14th century Church of St. Sebastiano, entirely renovated and expanded in the 18th century; it contains the marmor statue of St. Sebastiano by Bartolomeo Cellini, who collaborated with the well-known Bernini.
Thanks to the vastness of the chestnuts-woods, the old tradition of chestnuts dessication in the old so-called “seccatoi” is till followed up to these days. From the traditional processing is obtained flour, base for many traditional (and not) recipes.

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