Hell on Earth: The Sulfur Mines of Sicily

After viewing the documentary film, “La Porta dell'Inferno” (“The Door to Hell”) by Michael Cavalieri, I felt compelled to delve deeper into the history of the Sicilian sulfur mines and the zolfo (sulfur) workers from the end of the 1700s until they were closed for good in 1986. It is a heart-wrenching story of the inhumane working conditions, indentured servitude of mere children, and the deaths and crippling diseases wrought upon men and boys by the mine owners.

Large deposits of sulfur were found in central Sicily between the provinces of Caltanissetta, Enna, and


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