the Mining Museum (meeting with history and work objects) and the Mineralogical Museum, with exposure of the minerals of Valmalenco.

Valmalenco, the ancient mine that became an Ecomuseum

Not a simple exhibition space, but rather a place that preserves the collective memory of an entire territory. It is the Mining Museum of Bagnada in the municipality of Lanzada (Sondro), a place full of history which best reflects the peculiarities of an activity that has permeated the life of the inhabitants of Valmalenco.

In fact, the wealth of mineral resources in the area has played a key role for the local economy and for scientific research, with its variety of minerals and rocks an international attraction pole. The tour is divided into three moments: the visit of the gallery (you can observe talcum and shifts in the mine of men and materials), the Mining Museum (meeting with history and work objects) and the Mineralogical Museum, with exposure of the minerals of Valmalenco.

The Bagnada Mine was discovered in the late 1920s by the Anonymous Company of Asbestos by the ingegner Grazzani of Milan, who obtained the first mining research grant in 1936. In fact, already in 1870, some companies engaged in the extraction of Asbestos intuited the potentialities of talcum; however, the technical difficulties and the low demand on the market of raw materials still unknown knew their interest. The intensive exploitation of the Bagnada field continued for over 50 years until the mid-1980s.

The mining activity was rather rudimentary, based on manual labor and without mechanical aid: it involved the transfer of talcum through cable cars and an organization of the workforce in teams of 25 miners sharing daily tasks. The extraction of talcum is still a key aspect in the economy of Valmalenco, which with one active mine is imposed on the international market. Of course, technological evolution has brought about profound changes in modernity, although it has not been able to erase the historical memory that the Bagnada Mine – nowadays Museum – wants to testify.

Visit to the Museum is only by reservation by calling the Tourist Consortium Sondrio and Valmalenco. Costs are: 8 euro – reduced entrance – children 5-12 years and older than 70 years, 11 euros – full entrance. Group and school visits are made.

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