The Italian Island Sardinia is known for its beautiful beaches, wild countryside, rugged mountains, valleys and plains that formed the background for some of Sergio Leone’s ‘spaghetti western‘ films, but also offers a rich history dating back to the nuragic age circa 1500 BC and is famous in the mining world for the richness of its geology. The mining tradition on Sardinia dates back to prehistoric times, continued through the middle ages until the present day and remnants of this mining past are visible all over the island.
The Monteponi mine near Iglesias is one of these remnants. This lead, zinc and silver mine was for a long time one of the most important mines in Italy, with some of its oldest installations dating back to 1869. It was abandoned decades ago and the abandoned buildings are now left, which is, for the aficionado of old industrial buildings, a gem waiting to be explored.
During the summer season tours are given of the complex, but during our visit in December 2006 we were lucky enough to find the site open for visitors and although we were not able to access any of the buildings, we did have the opportunity to wander around by ourselves and marvel at times gone by.
The site it not enormous and it will not take you too much time to explore it, but it is a nice day trip when you are staying in Cagliari or a nice stop when you are touring the island.