Where man has challenged nature
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURE IN THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MINES PARK OF SAN SILVESTRO
The Archaeological Mines Park of San Silvestro is a vast nature, mining and archaeological park, immersed in an environment where man has challenged nature for centuries in the search for precious minerals. Thanks to the nature trails, you can visit the park and admire its natural characteristics on foot, by bicycle or on horseback. Ideal for tourists who want to go trekking in Tuscany.
The Archaeological Mines Park of San Silvestro is located in the final section of the metalliferous hills and is a real natural geological laboratory.
There are sedimentary, magmatic and metamorphic rocks in the Park of San Silvestro.
More than 90 different types of minerals can be found in the park.
The most interesting rock, not only geologically speaking but also in economic terms, is skarn, whose name derives from the Finnish word for “scrap”. Skarn, formed around 5 million years ago through the reaction of magma with limestone, contains most of the metalliferous minerals in the Campiglia area.
A collection of rocks and minerals from the Park, accompanied by geological reconstructions and educational information, can be admired in the Museum of Archaeology and Minerals.
The territory of the Archaeological Mines Park of San Silvestro is almost completely within the Monte Calvi SCI (site of community interest) and is characterised by the presence of Mediterranean scrub.
Shrubs such as juniper, strawberry tree, mastic tree and buckthorn dominate. Holm oak woods and cork trees grow where there is more soil and humidity. Ash trees and hornbeam grow mainly in the cooler areas, above all in the valley. Helichrysum, rock roses, with their magnificent blooms, aromatic plants (myrtle, thyme, savoury…) and oleasters thrive in the more degraded areas with little soil.
The richness of the latter species, above all in the area around Rocca San Silvestro, is certainly attributable to the agricultural activities of bygone times.
In spring, the bloom of the twenty-three different species of orchids that grow in the Archaeological Mines Park of San Silvestro is a sight not to be missed.
The diversity of the environments of the Archaeological Mines Park of San Silvestro is reflected in the variety of fauna that inhabits it.
The most common animals are wild boar and roe deer. It is not unusual to see hedgehogs and squirrels; foxes, more shy by nature, do however leave a trail behind them.
Several species of birds of prey such as the hawk, kestrel and short-toed eagle nest in the Archaeological Mines Park of San Silvestro.
Reptiles include the viper and the friendlier tortoise.
The few amphibians that live in the area shelter in the cool mines where they live in harmony with a large colony of small bats.