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The village of Montioni Nuovo

In 1805 Napoleon named Élisa Baciocchi Princess of the Principality of Piombino. In 1809, after an exploration of the land, Élisa decided to reopen the alum mines discovered in the fifteenth century but long inactive, and ordered the construction of a village near the old quarries.

The project for the new village was awarded to the French architect Pierre–Théodore Bienaimé, who had already worked for the Baciocchi at the Villa di Marlia and had been chosen to introduce the new rationalist and Neoclassical taste to Tuscany. The mining village, rebaptized with Élisa’s name added to that of the nearby castle of Montioni, was composed of a series of dwellings for the miners, workers, coachmen and cutters, furnaces for the preparation of the alum, the princess’ residence – which then became the Palazzina of the Director – and a spa for her personal use, which used hot sulphurous water that flowed from two springs at a temperature of 31°. The village was also provided with a piazza where there was a cistern for the collection of rain water for the use of the palazzo and a celebratory stele that commemorated the work of the sovereign, in addition to celebrating the emperor Napoleon.

What remains of the old village, now called Montioni Nuovo, are a few dwellings, the director’s palazzo, the alum furnace, the spa, a cistern and the celebratory stele.

Village of Montioni Nuovo
Locale: Montioni Nuovo
Suvereto (Livorno)

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