Murble quarry of Carrara

Hidden Italy

 DEC  2018


I have to confess, this was my first time in Alpi Apuane. shame on me. The occasion was an excursion to the marble quarries organized by Cave di marmo in jeep

I remained fascinating of this new and unsusal ambient. Rich of a millenium history and old tradition. From the Apuan Ligurians to the Romans who began mining in 48-44 BC under Julius Caesar. Excavation took place in very simple methods and tools, such as picks and ice axes, and with a great deal of time and work. Once squared, the blocks had to go downhill and the system used is called “lizzatura”  sled transport. Pretty dangerous, this practice still used at the beginning of the twentieth century. You have to immagine blocks of marble of several tons that were slid for miles to the port of Luni. In August there is a historical re-enactment.

The quarries have provided material to the greatest artists of the world, Michelangelo Buonarotti felt at home here, a quarry still in business provided the marble that he used for the David, one of the greatest masterpieces of sculpture of all time . Helped by his students, he polished the marble with scrapers, lime, pumice stone and straw balls, until he gave his statues an extraordinary shine During fascist regime, Mussolini made an extensive use of marble of Carrara, also for political reason. He donated the marble for one of the mosques of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Cooperativa Scultori Carrara

The excursion takes 4 hours, you can do in the morning or in the afternoon, we met guys of CavediMarmoinjeep by the exit of the highway but they can pick you up at Carrara train station. We took an 8 seats jeep, very spartan but effective for climbing Alpi Apuane on dirty roads. The marble area is very wide we have visited just a part of it. The marble basins of Fantiscritti and Torano, the ancient Roman quarry of Fossanova, the Cooperativa Scultori of Carrara, and naturally could not miss a stop to taste the famous lard of Colonnata, a true delicacy prepared with ancient knowledge from local laboratories. I suggest you a visit to the quarries and take a little more time to visit the historic center of Carrara and the archaeological park of Luni.

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