The mineral collection started to take form in 1844, when Leopoldo Pilla brought from Naples the Vesuvian collection. The mineral collection remarkably enlarged among the end of the 19th century and the beginning of 1900 with the contribution of Antonio D’Achiardi and its son Giovanni. The mineral gallery was opened to the public in 1994, redesigned in 2002, after the acquiring of the Cerpelli and D’Amore collection, and set up again in 2014 including new collection.
The initial part of the gallery is devoted to the origin of the Solar system and the historical meteorites collection and includes the greatest Italian meteorite: the Bagnone’s ottaedrite and a weight of 48 kgs.
The central part of the gallery is devoted to the Tuscany mineralogical collection and is introduced by a great panel representing the lithologic diversity of the Tuscany area and a relief map of the marble area of Carrara realized in 1906 basing on the geological studies carried out by Domenico Zaccagna.
The Tuscany collection includes over 400 specimen, mainly from the Apuane and the Elba. Among these are particularly remarkable the enormous geocronite crystals from Valdicastello (Pietrasanta, Lucca); the pegmatites of San Piero in Campo (Elba) among which a huge specimen with over 30 tourmaline crystals; the Del Taglia collection with 180 mineral specimens of the Apuane’s marble; the minerals of the iron cave of the Elba and the wonderful crystallisation from Bottino (Stazzema, Lucca) of the Cerpelli’s collection.
The gallery includes also a vast systematic section and a lab devoted to minerals features.
At the end of the gallery are still exposed the most representative specimens of the D’Amore donation, among which the big geodes of quartz amethyst from Brasil and the celestina’s crystal from Madagascar.