Niccioleta, a Twentieth Century Mining Village

Massa Marittima, Tuscany, Italy
Est. 1.1km / 42 mins

Niccioleta, a Twentieth Century Mining Village - Cya On The Road

The original nucleus of Niccioleta was built in the mid-1930s by the Società Montecatini (Montecatini Company), which had discovered an important pyrite deposit in the area. The village takes its name from a rural settlement slightly to the north, from that time on called ‘Niccioleta Vecchia’ (‘Old Niccioleta’) and partially abandoned today. From an architectural point of view, Niccioleta is an example of Rationalism, a widespread style during the Fascist epoch, and it has the characteristics of a workers’ settlement of the period, with the houses for the miners, the other workers, and the company management close to the mine, and subdivided into zones according to social class. The director lived in a villa with a garden, on a small hilltop which dominated the habitations of the workers, constructed in the lower part of the village. Near the director’s villa were the houses of the vice-director, the doctor, the technicians, and the office staff, while those of the supervisors, or foremen, also called ‘caporals’, were located at the entrance of the village. The unmarried miners, together with those waiting for the arrival of their families, occupied the so-called ‘camerotti’ (‘large rooms’), long and low lodges with about forty cots, built at the edge of the village. From its origins, Niccioleta saw an influx of workers and technicians with their families from all of Italy, especially from the area of Monte Amiata. A lively and united community was created, but in June of 1944 it was devastated by a ferocious Nazi-Fascist massacre, with the slaughter of 83 miners. It was a heavy blow for the village, and more than forty families returned to their places of origin. With the end of the war, between spring and summer 1945 the mine resumed its production, thanks also to new arrivals. With the passing of the years the inhabitants of Niccioleta - which in 1976 became a district of the Municipality of Massa Marittima - once more consolidated their strong sense of community and solidarity. Then, with the crisis of the mining sector, the mine gradually reduced its activity, until its closure in 1992, causing a drop in population and leaving the village with an uncertain future, in profound need of re-building.The visit to the village includes stops at 12 points of interest, whose descriptions are taken from the volume Niccioleta: fotografie e immagini di una comunità mineraria (Niccioleta: photographs and images of a mining community), edited by Riccardo Zipoli (published by Biblioteca Gaetano Badii, Massa Marittima, 2022).

by Musei di Massa Marittima
Massa Marittima ha un passato ricco di storia, il suo patrimonio culturale ha dato origine ad un’offerta museale importante e diversificata

Get the full experience in the app

Discover 12 hidden gems with captivating audio stories, explore top-rated nearby hotels, find affordable flights and enjoy the best local eats - all in the Cya On The Road app.

Download now and search for Niccioleta, a Twentieth Century Mining Village.