A leap back in time to a past of work and fatigue, partly forgotten and now recovered. The mining site of Serbariu, a district of Carbonia, an extensive deposit from 1937 to 1964, characterized the economy and the society of the Sulcis subregion and represented a vital energy resource for Italy. The coal basin had an extension of 33 hectares, nine extraction wells and one hundred kilometres of tunnels (that reach 179 metres in depth). Workers from all over Italy were recruited to extract coal: 16 thousand miners resided in Carbonia, which was built in 1938 to accommodate them. Today, after recovery work, it has become the Coal Museum and was reopened to the public in 2006. The restructured complex, which perfectly represents the world of mining, will lead you through life during those years. In the lamp room, you will get to know the history of mining and of the town, through the precious collection of mining lamps, work tools, objects used in everyday life, photographs, documents, films from the period and video-interviews. The passage through the underground tunnel is interesting, as it shows the evolution of the coal mining techniques from 1930 to 1971, the year in which the activity ceased, in spaces that are accurately set-up with period tools and machinery. To conclude the itinerary, the winch room awaits you, where you will see the great wheels, still intact, of the winch used to manoeuvre the cages lowered down into or raised out of the wells, transporting miners and carriages, either empty or loaded with coal.
In the 1950s, the sector was reorganized, leading to the progressive dismantling of the plants, until their closure: the machinery deteriorated. Following acquisition of the site by the Municipality of Carbonia, at the beginning of the 21st century, work was carried out to recover the main structures. In order to manage it, the administration of Carbonia and the Parco Geominerario (Geology and Mining Park), established the Italian Center of Coal Culture (Centro Italiano della Cultura del Carbone - CICC). The recovery of the museum was very successful as is also demonstrated by various awards, among which the aegis of UNESCO, and inclusion in European enhancement circuits.
From industrial to Phoenician-Punic archaeology: after a visit to the museum, don't miss Monte Sirai, near Carbonia, where you will find integral evidence, like nowhere else, of a colony that was first Phoenician and then Carthaginian: houses, squares, a temple, a tophet (partially rebuilt in the Villa Sulcis museum) and a necropolis.