The 'Island of silver veins', as it was called by ancient peoples and merchants. You can feel it just by looking at it and walking on it: this is an ancient land that has imprisoned the most precious materials over geological eras. Thus fate would have it that, until the end of the 20th century, hundreds of shafts and tunnels were dug, arduous work carried out by thousands of Sardinian miners in bleak and fraught environments, at the cost of their health and their very lives. The great mining epic did not leave behind economic prosperity but rather an immense heritage of industrial archaeology set in Sardinia's most unusual landscapes. Mines that were once teeming with frenzied activity inside and outside the tunnels, are now the custodians of the tears shed in the darkness by generations of workers, some of whom have become specialised tourist guides to reveal the profound meaning of these places of work, both painful and enchanting at the same time. Crags, sand dunes, karst cavities, wild forests and the blue sea form the backdrop to eight mining areas that together form Sardinia's geo-mineral park, an outstanding part of the UNESCO world network of geoparks for its extraordinary industrial facilities and the timeless charm of the landscapes of which the abandoned mines have become a part.