Le Marche: A father-son team turned an abandoned sulfur mine into an educational agritourism “court”
An abandoned mine deep in the countryside outside Urbino is an unusual site for agritourism. The workshops are held in former furnaces. In operation since the 15th century, the “Pozzo Donegani,” or “Donegani Pit,” was abandoned in the 1930s with little or no documents or artifacts preserving its history.
In 1980, Persantini acquired the property and renovated it with his son for its official opening on March 7, 1990. He and Michele used to run an art printing business before the acquisition and intended to apply their knowledge of that to the resort.
The father-son duo wanted to recreate the atmosphere of an Italian Renaissance court like that of the Duke of Urbino, Frederico Montefeltro, during the 15th century. In fact, Baldassere Castaglione’s The Courtier was written in 1528 as a guide to the proper mastery of various arts and behavior by ladies and gentlemen of the Duke of Urbino’s Court. Hence: The Court of the Mine, La Corte della Miniera..Today, Michele manages The Mine, while his father sometimes leads workshops…