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Homage to the “Monti Livornesi” (the Leghorn Hills)

Last Updated: 20th Jun 2016

By Giuliano Bettini

This is my tribute to the beauties of the Livorno Mountains, or Leghorn Hills, or Monti Livornesi, as you want. And, in particular, the minerals.
My interest began with the small book by Nannoni, R., & Sammartino, F. (1979), Guide to the minerals of Livorno Mountains, and the work of Paolo Orlandi.
I remember Paolo Orlandi wrote, about the minerals of Livorno Mountains:
small minerals, but often well crystallized.
And so it is.
And as recently Sammartino wrote in his Facebook page:
"Datolite. Livornesi mountains. This mineral which I found recently is new for Monti Livornesi and drives up to 122 species present !! They are very small crystals than those of the Apennines, but we are content ".

122 species of minerals.
Always small and well crystallized.
I've always thought of these beautiful minerals:
"If this stuff was on the island of Elba, collectors and German scholars would do the queue here!"

But the Livorno Mountains are less known internationally. Also because of this, my little tribute.

A bit of history.
In the past, Livornesi Monti were essentially known for Barite from Calafuria. Then came the Melanophlogite, and Garnets of Gabbro, et cetera.
These are the most known things, which I will not deal with. Instead, I want to recall, and document as much as I can, some lesser known beauties.
In short, some photos.
I express myself through pictures and colors, although my IXSUS camera, hand-held on the microscope, does what she can.
Unless otherwise indicated, all minerals are millimeter and sub millimeter size.

First of all, the colors.
Colors 1. Quite easy to recognize except:
last two, top right: Vanadinite and Clinochlore inclusions.

Colors 2. Quite easy to recognize except:
top left: Opal;
bottom left: micro Vesuvianite, I’ve found near Castiglioncello.

Now, let's start with the Violarite, of which I have been involved in a recent Mindat article.

Then I like to quote the findings that I liked best.

Blue Anatase.
I found them in the 90's, after a fire, which almost completely destroyed the Mediterranean maquis of this area.

The Pink Zircon at Romito beach.
(An annectode: I was completely discouraged when, after a slide projection, a lady asked "How big are they?")

Wurtzite at the Corbolone Variante Quarry.

Titanite at the Corbolone Variante Quarry.

Titanite at the Romito, and Romito Promontory.

Millerite at “Le Ferriere”.

Altered Millerite at “Le Ferriere”.

Anatase’s beauty.


Blue Titanite.
(The Blue Titanite was first discovered by Sammartino at the Rio Paganello Valley).

Thanks to Paolo Orlandi, Franco Sammartino, Marinai, Nannoni....
(not exhaustive).

(not exhaustive).

Orlandi, P. (1972). Note di mineralogia toscana - 1. I minerali dei Monti Livornesi. Atti della Società Toscana di Scienze Naturali, Memorie, 79, 95-100.

Nannoni, R., & Sammartino, F. (1979). Guida ai minerali dei Monti Livornesi. Calderini Ed., Bologna.

Bettini, G., “Unidentified silver-metallic needles in Tuscany. Updated: Violarite”.

Sammartino F., "Minerali miniere e cave dei Monti Livornesi", Comune di Livorno, 2009.

Marinai V., Nannoni R., 2003. I minerali della cava "Variante" di Poggio Corbolone (Livorno). Riv. Miner. Ital., 2: 90-97.

Sammartino F., La titanite azzurra della Valle del Rio Paganello (Livorno), Quad. Mus. St. Nat. Livorno, 21: 11-14 (2008).

(Italian text)

Questo è un mio omaggio alle bellezze dei Monti Livornesi. E in particolare ai minerali.
Il mio interesse è iniziato con il libretto di Nannoni, R., & Sammartino, F. (1979), Guida ai minerali dei Monti Livornesi, e con i lavori di Paolo Orlandi.
Ricordo che Paolo Orlandi scriveva, a proposito dei minerali dei Monti Livornesi:
minerali piccoli, ma spesso ben cristallizzati.
E così è.
E come scrive recentemente Sammartino nella sua pagina Facebook:
“Datolite. Monti Livornesi. Questo minerale che ho trovato recentemente, è nuovo per i Monti Livornesi e fa salire a 122 le specie presenti !! Sono cristalli molto piccoli rispetto a quelli delle località appenniniche, ma noi ci accontentiamo”.

122 specie di minerali.
Sempre piccoli e ben cristallizzati.
Io di questi bellissimi minerali ho sempre pensato:
“Se questa roba fosse dell’isola d’Elba, i collezionisti e gli studiosi tedeschi farebbero la coda qui!”

Ma i Monti Livornesi sono meno conosciuti in campo internazionale. Anche per questo, il mio piccolo omaggio.

Un pò di storia.
Nel passato, i Monti Livornesi erano essenzialmente conosciuti per la Barite di Calafuria. Poi vennero la Melanoflogite, e i granati del Gabbro, eccetera.
Queste sono le cose più conosciute, di cui mi occupo di meno. Voglio invece rammentare, e documentare per quanto io posso, alcune bellezze meno conosciute.
In breve, alcune foto.
Mi esprimo attraverso le foto e i colori, anche se la mia macchina fotografica IXSUS, appoggiata a mano sul microscopio, fa quello che può.
Salvo indicazione contraria, tutti i minerali sono di dimensioni millimetriche o sub millimetriche.

(Seguono le foto).

Article has been viewed at least 1652 times.


Beautiful article, Guiliano! You are fortunate to be able to collect such wonderful micro minerals!

Thank you!

Johannes Swarts (2)
21st Jun 2016 9:19pm

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