The Costa Verde area including the coast and the mountain inland is part of a larger area which in the past held a fundamental role either in the industrial or social field. Here one of the biggest mining basins had been exploited in Italy and Europe.
The territory was already known by the ancient populations for its minerary resources, but only from the 1800's to the 1991's, after the last plants had been shut down, the mining industry developed.
During this long-lasting period an economic development of the territory was possible, in the same period the working class could be organized and one of the most powerful industrial reality, the newest in the whole Europe, developed.
Today these plants, which had been closed in the second half of the 1900s, are cultural areas located into the Geomineral Historic and Environment Park of Sardinia, this park had been acknowledged by the UNESCO in 1997 as the first park in the world network of Geos/Geoparks, established by UNESCO with the aim to protect and enhance the technical-scientific, historical, cultural and environmental sites in which man has used the geological and mineral resources.
An époque .... close to your holiday
For those who love knowing the localities history and for those who love listening to the silence among the remains and ruins which nature is slowly swallowing up will greatly appreciate excursions and walks in the near hinterland.
Here there are out of time landscapes, wrecked houses, installation and old construction sites, enormous quantities of waste materials, rusty mining corves. These fantastic sceneries resemble very much a Far West village.
Today wondering among those places full of old villages ruins, shaky buildings, old shafts, rusty tracks, and abandoned mining corves imagination could go back to faraway times. It is difficult to imagine that not long ago there was life in those places and everything was working efficiently. Moreover it seems as if for some mysterious reasons and in a indefinite time those efficient workers had abandoned their jobs.
The mining areas
The area of the old mining concessions occupies a huge territory in the Guspini and Arbus's communes, following the richest Montevecchio vein, which is one of the most important and best known veins.
It stretches from the big Cantieri di Levante on, under Montevecchio, crossing the mountains for nearly 10 kilometers along the Cantieri di Ponente, where the Sanna, Telle and Casargiu mines are located.
Going further on towards Ingurtosu village and following the Is animas valley which leads to the sea, crossing the Lambert, Gal, Turbina and Naracauli construction sites.
Moreover there is the less known and less rich area of the Gennamari mines, where there are the construction sites of Edoardo shaft and Giordano shaft.
The whole area is plunged into the nature among mountains with gorgeous woods, silent and inhabited landscapes.
The mines .... Montevecchio and Ingurtosu
Since 1840 the territory exploitation had been occasionally carried out with few industrial investments. Afterwards mining exploitation had become more important for manufacturers thanks to a new law which separated soil from the subsoil property, allowing a better exploitation, directly or through mining concessions.
The subsoil exploitation was administrated by 2 groups of separated mining concessions: Montevecchio mines and Ingurtosu and Gennamari mines.
Montevecchio Mines were exploting Montevecchio vein, which is one of the richest, most remarkable and better known.
Montevecchio was considered one of the most important industrial realities in the entire Sardinia. It was the most relevant lead and zinc producer, obtaining acknowledgments for its advanced technology plants and for its important directors and engineers.
From 1848, after few industrial failures, a greater innovation and expansion started thanks to Giovanni Antonio Sanna entrepreneur from Sassari who obtained a permanent exploitation license. The village greatly expanded, there were nearly 5000 people, many important structures as schools, cinemas, hospitals, sport fields, post office and a camp for the miners' children called Casa al mare Francesco Sartori, today renamed Funtanazza, had been built.
The mines are located on two different construction sites, Cantieri di Levante, in the Montevecchio village and Cantieri di Ponente along the white street which from Montevecchio leads to Ingurtosu village; the two areas are separated by Gennaserapis pass where Montevecchio village is located, here there are the most important buildings of the Mine: the headquarter, the guest-rooms, the hospital, the school and the church.
In the Cantieri di Levante there is St. Antonio mine (Montevecchio concession nº1) and Piccalinna's and Mezzena construction site, while in the Cantieri di Ponente there are Sanna mine (Montevecchio concession nº2), and Telle and Casargiu's mines (Montevecchio concession nº3).
The Montevecchio village, which today is inhabited by some hundreds of people, is located in beautiful holms-oak rovelle and cork-oak woods, testifying the mines ancient life and offering guided visits to the Cantieri di Levante buildings: the workshops, the Anglosarda gallery, the Piccalinna Mine and the main managing building.
Ingurtosu and Gennamari Mines were built for the median part of the Montevecchio vein exploitation, which was richest in blende and galena minerals (zinc and lead).
Ingurtosu and Gennamari once had been the two most important mining areas in the whole island together with Montevecchio mines and Monteponi mines.
After a previous period of episodic exploitations and several transfers of property, at the end of 1800 there had been a considerable growth, due to the fact that the English Company Pertusola Limited obtained the mining's concession and to the discovery of the Brassey vein. This vein was nominated after Lord Thomas Alnuut, Brassey viscount and Pertusola's President. During this period in Ingurtosu's area there were nearly 6000 workers and families.
Ingurtosu old mining area is partly located on the Montevecchio Casargiu Mine border, with Ingurtosu Casargiu construction site, and partially along the valley that from the old Ingurtosu village, that was the mining managerial center, crossing the main sites, the Lambert, Turbina and Gal shafts, the Pireddu washery and Brassey washery and the Naracauli miners village, leads to the sea and to Piscinas' beach, which in the past was used as a docking place to transport goods to Carloforte.