54033 Colonnata MS, Italia
If you say the name Colonnata, you immediately think of crostino topped by delicious slices of lard. Colonnata lard IGP is the delicatessen product that made this small hamlet in the municipality of Carrara famous, but it's not the only reason why this village nestled among the Apuan peaks deserves to be popular.
Known for its white marble quarries, the village of Colonnata is located in the exceptional setting of the Regional Park of the Apuan Alps, the protected natural area that protects landscapes and biodiversity of unique beauty and value. It's scattered with hiking trails that also depart from the village itself, allowing you to discover the rugged and wild landscapes of the Apuan Alps where you can gaze as far as the Ligurian Sea of Versilia and the Apuan Riviera.
A short distance from the coast, the town of Colonnata has retained much of its origins that date back to Roman times when a group of slaves were tasked with extracting marble, leading it to be used in many ancient Roman works. The large quarry in the shape of an amphitheatre dates back to that time and is still visible in Fossacava. The marble quarries characterize the landscape, making it surreal and unique with open-air workshops that provided inspiration and the raw material for great artists such as Canova and Michelangelo when in search of the perfect block to make his David.
Inhabited by less than 400 people, Colonnata preserves its historical heritage as a village of quarrymen with artistic, structural and everyday works scattered throughout the village, the best example of which is the Monumento al Cavatore, a marble sculpture by the artist Alberto Sparapani that stands majestically in the churchyard of the Parish Church of San Bartolomeo. It depicts Christ and quarrymen intent on their work, and symbolizes their sacrifice and dedication to their craft, as well as Colonnata's vocation for white gold.