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The alum quarries in Montioni

The alum quarries are found in the Interprovincial Park of Montioni, run by the provinces of Livorno and Grosseto. Alum was first discovered in Montioni in 1474 and the quarries, after remaining inactive for a considerable period of time, were reopened in 1803. But it was not until the government of Élisa Baciocchi, who became the Princess of Piombino in 1805, that they began to produce. 0cm;" align="JUSTIFY">Elisa had the quarries incorporated into state property and rented them to her financial advisor Jean Gabriel Eynard: already by 1808 eight quarries had been reactivated, two of the tunnel type and six in the open air. The French entrepreneur Louis Porte was employed by Élisa as the administrator of the Montioni alum mine and in 1811 he was named Director, answering directly to the princes. During Louis Porte’s directorship, alum was extracted in the Montioni area in mines and in quarries. The rock alum was submitted to a first selection phase and transported to the furnace for liming. The limed mineral was then steeped and dissolved in water, cooked again in copper cauldrons and let crystallize, then ready for the market. At this point the alum was shipped to the maritime dock of Follonica, using camels as the means of transport.

When the Napoleonic regime fell, the princes decided to close the alum mine, Porte was removed from his post and the mine was rented to the Swiss Etienne Richard.

Alum quarries
Locale: Montioni Nuovo
Suvereto (Livorno)

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