The deep connection between Carrara and its marble comes from long ago, going back to the origins of the town itself. Carrara has always been a centre of extraction and manufacturing of this fine material. The exploitation of the quarries, indeed, started with the Roman Empire and since then the production has never stopped.
Territorial development is strictly linked to the marble industry and specifically to the transformation process of this material into manufactures for the buildings, street furniture, architecture and artistic fields. Marble also facilitates the engineering industry as regards the production of innovative machineries to excavate and produce the granite.
Carrara is world-famous for its white marble, pure and without veining. You just need to look up and see the uncovered mountains of the Apuan Alps: it’s there the origin of statues, monuments and buildings.
Michelangelo itself used to go up to the Altissimo mountain (1589 meters) to take the marble to sculpt and create its works. As a result, the David kept in Florence and the Pietà in San Pietro in Rome, were born. Even Donatello, Bernini and Canova have always been fascinated by this precious typical material of Carrara.
The operating quarries today are in the three large extraction basins in Colonnata, Ravaccione e Fantiscritti, behind Carrara and facing the slopes of Maggiore mountain.
Nearby, the open-air quarries and the wells form impressive amphitheaters surrounded by some sort of marble curtains, while the underground quarries can be compared to imposing cathedrals carved in the heart of the mountains.
Cover image credit: APT Massa Carrara