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Carrara and the marble quarries

Carrara is in the northen-western area of Tuscany, at the borders with Liguria and Emilia, famous all over the world for its valued white marble.


Carrara : DomeCarrara:
In the northen-western area of Tuscany, at the borders with Liguria and Emilia, lies Carrara, famous all over the world for its valued white marble. It is the town of white marble, of the contrasts between the colours of the Alps and the sea and of the many artists, who, through the years, have chosen its fabulous marble to realize the most beautiful artistical works in the world. A small town, which is characterized also by its inhabitants: anarchical spirits (simple people but great workers,because working in the quarries “is no kidding!”) with a great personality, talking a particolar dialect (called “carrarino” and not “carrarese”as it should be in correct italian language)which does not even resemble the “classical” Tuscan.
The marble quarries are situated on the Apuan Alps overhanging Carrara and in a great part of the territory of Versilia. The marble basins had been exploited since the roman age, when huge stone blocks, loaded on big ships, sailed from the port of Luni to Rome. From those blocks were born architectural works and every kind of sculptures which were placed all over the Roman Empire and, today, all over the world.
The name “Carrara” probably comes from the ancient word “Kar” which means “stone”. The town has medieval origins: in that period, because of the decadence of the port of Luni and the menace of the barbaric invasion, the populations were compelled to move towards the inland. Carrara is surrounded by small mountain towns, in which, in particular in the last century, the quarrymen lived. Carrara reveals a stunning contrast to the tourist’s eyes: a sea town surrounded by white mountains, which are often believed covered of snow, instead of made of marble.
The port of Marina di Carrara – one of the most famous and dynamic port of Italy- is the most important port in the world for the loading and unloading of marbles and granites. Along the coast several bathing establishments colour the golden beaches, framed by green pine-woods, which surround also the huge expository area of the town. In this area are prepared several fairs and reviews, the most important of which is the "International Fair for Marble Machinery and Services" hosting every year a great number of operators of this area from all over the world. So, Carrara has became a world-wide fame centre of trade and manufacture of marble. Students from every part of the world attend the lessons of the Academy of Fine Arts, founded in the far 1757 by Maria Teresa Cybo, Duchess of Malaspina, where there is a qualified school of sculpture.

Carrara : Ponti di VaraSightseeing in Carrara:
Piazza Alberica. It represents the heart of the town. At its centre it is possible to see the statue of Maria Beatrice d'Este, beloved queen by the population of Carrara. In the perimeter lie refined buildings of the XVII and XVIII century among which it is particularly beautiful the red coloured “Palazzo del Medico”.
The Dome, a precious building, which has been started in the XI century and finished after three houndred years. It has a rectangular plant with a nave and two aisles and it is built in different styles, among which the roman and the gothic ones. The front with its wonderful marble rosette is particularly valued as the many inner details as the marble statue of St.Maddalena and Lucia, various kinds of holy-water fonts, the pulpit made of coloured marbles, the main altar of the “Santissimo Sacramento”, a nice wooden Crucified of the XIII century, the fresco paintings on the walls at the sides of the altar and other wooden statues.
The Santuario delle Grazie, of the XVII century. Its front has a modern lining, but the inside is sumptuous and baroque. The altars are particularly beautiful.
The Academy of Fine Arts, a tall building with wide rooms, hosting today a rich gallery of plaster, showing collections and plaster moulds of masterpieces as the statue of “Napoleon the Great” by Canova.
Marble and quarries
Marble is a crystalline structured calcareous stone formed through metamorphism. Apuan Alps are a huge marble deposit with a volume of several cubic kilometres. Carrara reveals to be the widest pool and has three main dales: Colonnata, Fantiscritti and Ravaccione where, besides the ordinary white marble, different variations of marble are extracted as the statuary, veined, purple, “calcata” and “bardiglio”.
The mining activity has ancient origins (II cent. b.C.): it was developed by the Romans, who largely used our marble to build their villas and monuments and kept on growing to reach the present industrial development. Today, thanks to the improvement of techniques, materials, tools, Carrara’s basins produce about 800.000 tons of marble a year.
Carrara and marble querryThe cut:
Marble is used in various, different ways: to produce decorative objects, sculptures, monuments, and obviously to produce linings and covering. Marble economy is based principally on decorative furnishing area. But the marble, after its extraction from the mountains, needs to be cut and polished through long and difficult working practices. In the past the huge marble blocks were hand-cut with a unique blade, which penetrated slowly into the stone. Later water-looms were used to cut the stones, obtainig square marble pieces called “quadrette”, “ambrogette” or simply tiles, which, afterwards, were hand-polished. The technological development helped men’s work: thanks to the building of special water machines called “frulloni”, it was possible to polish the products in a simpler way (not only by hand). Today the sew-mills make quarrymen’s work safer and lighter.

Carrara and the marble, carrara, marble, carrara, museum, marble museum,  carrara, orario, visita, querry, marble, marble querry colonnata, colonnata, marble workers, marble, trecento, dome, carrara, city of carrara, visit carrara, discover carrara, massa, province of massa, tuscany, itinerary, routesThe artists:
Without man’s hand moulding sculptures and monuments, marble will be just a cold shapeless white stone. Ancient Romans preferred the white marble to decorate their houses and to celebrate their glory, building wonderful monuments, villas and public structures. For this reason Carrara has seen the birth of several generations of sculptors, stone-cutters and artists, who learned to know, to work the white stone and to turn it in a work of art. Several unknown artists have left traces of their work in the streets, square, churches and so on.
They contributed together with more famous artists, to decorate, and enrich the severe buildings and, as the great master Michelangelo, to create fabulous statues, so “alive” than they seem to have a soul.

Museo del Marmo di CarraraCivic Marble Museum
The Museum of marble was founded in 1982 thanks to the support of the city council. The Museum aims at collecting documents and testimonies on the local culture relating to marble in order to preserve them and have their value increased.
Over the years, the museum has become the venue where the city's historical legacy is enshrined, thus providing scholars with valuable material for thei studies.
Archaeological finds, written documents, photographs; machines for marble processing, castings, educational models, and marble samples: thanks to the items it holds, the museum allows for wider knowledge of the world of marble as seen from different angles and from different educational standpoints.
The institution also works as a stimulating mixing of material culture, historical legacy and cultural testimonies.

Address
Sito in V.le XX Settembre, 85 C.A.P. 54033, località Stadio, Carrara, (MS)
Phone +39 0585 845746+39 0585 845746
museo del marmo


Carrara: discover the surroundings

  • Massa Massa (6 km)
    Massa in Tuscany offers the tourist a look at the ancient marble quarries revered by sculptures from Michaelangelo to Henry Moore.
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  • Malaspina Castle Massa Malaspina Castle Massa (6 km)
    The castle of Massa crowns the top of a rocky hill and from its position dominates the wide underlying plain and great part of the Tyrrhenian coast line.
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  • Travel Massa Travel Massa (6 km)
    The Province of Massa Carrara is situated in the northernmost part of Tuscany, in the centre of wonderful places such as the Golfo dei Poeti, the “Cinque Terre” and tuscan art cities.
    Read more
  • Fosdinovo and Malaspina Castle Fosdinovo and Malaspina Castle (9 km)
    Fosdinovo dominates today still with his intact fourteenth-century massive structure, from the tall one of his 550 meters altitude, big part of the coast underlying Tirrenica.
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  • Montignoso Montignoso (9 km)
    The municipal territory of Montignoso extends for 16,67 square kilometres between the sea and the Apuane, “last land” of the low Lunigiana.
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  • Aghinolfi castle Aghinolfi castle (9 km)
    The characteristic element of the territory of Montignoso, already frequented by the ancient Liguri-Apuanis, it's represented from the Castle Aghinolfi.
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  • Porta lake Porta lake (9 km)
    The protected area of the Porta lake, a heaven faunistico managed from the WWF and from League Environment, is where the place to make a relaxant walk.
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  • Apuane park Apuane park (14 km)
    Apuane park is located in Tuscany, only for his geo-morphological and naturalistic characteristics, it is developed for around 60 kms along the coast of the Tyrrhenian sea in the areas of the Versilia, Lunigiana and Garfagnana.
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  • Seravezza Seravezza (14 km)
    Seravezza called Sala Vetitia in a document of the X century, Sala Vecchia in the Lucca Annals of Tolomeo and Seravetitia in certain papers of 1368 and 1375, was originally the dominion the Lords of Corvaia and Vallecchia.
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  • Versilia Coast Versilia Coast (14 km)
    Versilia is a part of Tuscany coast in the north-western province of Lucca known for fashionable Riviera resorts, it consists of numerous clubs that are frequented by local celebrities.
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  • Versilia By Bike Versilia By Bike (14 km)
    Versilia by bike is a programs of the general duration of seven days propose visits in places of particular historical, architectural and naturalistic interest.
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  • Forte dei Marmi Forte dei Marmi (14 km)
    Sea and culture are the two characteristics of Forte dei Marmi, one of the most famous tourist centers in the Tuscan shore.
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  • Pietrasanta Pietrasanta (17 km)
    Pietrasanta centre owes its origins and its name to the Podesta Guiscardo Pietrasanta, who had it built by orders of the republic towards the middle of the XIII century.
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  • Monte Corchia cave Monte Corchia cave (18 km)
    The Monte Corchia cave system in the Apuan Alps regional park is the largest cave system in Italy and one of the biggest in Europe.
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  • Lunigiana and Magra Valley Lunigiana and Magra Valley (18 km)
    Go to Lunigiana and experience a world, a journey back in time.
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  • Camporgiano Camporgiano (21 km)
    The town of Camporgiano is in the province of Lucca at 475 m. a.s.l. of altitude and it has a population of about 2,000 inhabitants.
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Accommodations in the area


    • Massa (Massa)
    • 10 km from Carrara

    Villa Palatina

    Villa Palatina is a wonderful villa for rent with swimming pool and panoramic view that sweeps from the Versilia sea to the Apuan Alps immersed in the green hills of Versilia.
    The ideal solution for those who want a villa in the hills of Tuscany in a position of absolute privacy and relaxation but at the same time not far from the sea.

    Availability request


    • Forte dei Marmi (Lucca)
    • 12 km from Carrara

    Villa Orchidea

    Beautiful villa with pool and dépendance surrounded by greenery, in privacy and tranquility on the outskirts of Forte dei Marmi about 2 km from the Tuscan sea.
    Excellent solution for those looking for an important villa in an excellent position in Forte dei Marmi

    Availability request


    • Forte dei Marmi (Lucca)
    • 12 km from Carrara

    Villa Top Forte

    Villa Top Forte is a splendid villa for rent in a central area of Forte dei Marmi and only 800 meters from the Versilia sea.
    The ideal solution for those looking for a luxury villa in Forte dei Marmi not far from the sea and center.

    Availability request


    • Forte dei Marmi (Lucca)
    • 12 km from Carrara

    Villa Puccini

    Beautiful Luxury Detached Villa with swimming pool, recently built, located in an exclusive complex, with a pitch in common and private spacious underground parking, in the Caranna area of Forte dei Marmi, about 1.5 km away from the sea.
    Villa ideal for those looking for comfort and luxury in Forte dei Marmi not far from the sea.

    Availability request


    • Forte dei Marmi (Lucca)
    • 13 km from Carrara

    Villa delle Rose

    Villa delle Rose is an elegant villa for rent in Forte dei Marmi with private pool which stands out for its superior class finishes and quality furnishings.
    Villa delle Rose is the ideal solution for those wishing to stay in Forte dei Marmi in a classy villa equipped with exclusive finishes.

    Availability request


    • Forte dei Marmi (Lucca)
    • 13 km from Carrara

    Villa Gucci

    Splendid luxury villa with swimming pool located in Forte dei Marmi, Vittoria Apuana area, in the context of extreme privacy and tranquility, only 950 meters from the Tuscan sea.
    Excellent solution in Forte dei Marmi not far from the sea appreciated for its beautiful garden and privacy.

    Availability request


    • Forte dei Marmi (Lucca)
    • 13 km from Carrara

    Villa Sweet

    Splendid villa with large swimming pool and fine finishes located in Forte dei Marmi the exclusive area of Vittoria Apuana, about 700 meters from the Tuscan sea.
    Excellent solution for spending holidays in Forte dei Marmi in a luxury location with all the services of an exclusive residence.

    Availability request


    • Forte dei Marmi (Lucca)
    • 13 km from Carrara

    Villa Gioconda

    Beautiful newly built villa located in the Vittoria Apuana area in Forte dei Marmi about 800 meters from the sea.
    Ideal solution for those looking for a large villa in Forte dei Marmi with swimming pool and large garden.

    Availability request


    • Forte dei Marmi (Lucca)
    • 13 km from Carrara

    Villa Brenda

    Villa for rent in the private area of Forte dei Marmi about 1000 meters from the sea of Versilia with swimming pool and 1300 sqm garden.
    The prestigious villa for rent can accommodate up to 10 people and thanks to its privileged position is the ideal solution for those who want a solution that guarantees their privacy.

    Availability request


    • Seravezza (Lucca)
    • 13 km from Carrara

    Villa Trilogy

    Villa Trilogy is a set of three contiguous stone houses in typical Tuscan style to give great privacy to each guest and make each unit autonomous if necessary.
    The important rental property that can accommodate up to 10 people is located in the hills of Versilia in the municipality of Seravezza.

    Availability request



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