The oldest core of the city is the Collegiate Church of Sant'Andrea, which later became the splendid Cathedral, famous for its grandiose façade decorated with slabs of white Luna marble alternating with black Colonnata marble. This majestic monument is located in Piazza Duomo, the beating heart of the city.
Start your time in Carrara with a visit to Malaspina Castle, the fortress that represented the regaining of autonomy from the Luni bishops. In fact, in the 13th century, the secular forces promoted the village’s military organization by reinforcing the fortress itself. Over the centuries, the monument’s defensive purpose has been transformed into a wonderful noble residence, and since 1805 has been home to the Academy of Fine Arts.
We recommend visiting Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie in the historic centre, built between 1620 and 1660 in a Baroque-Rococo style. Also take a visit to the Carmine Church, whose façade features a sculpture of the Blessed Virgin of the Rose by the Spaniard Bartolomeo Ordonez.
To learn more about the city’s history and vocation, have a look around the Civic Marble Museum. Opened in 1982, its exhibition space is divided into six internal sections and an external area that offer visitors a complex and fascinating insight into the local heritage, including Roman archaeology and the area’s history, in order to illustrate the most innovative techniques of modern sculpture in marble and other materials.
For contemporary art enthusiasts, a visit to the Centre of Plastic Arts in Carrara, housed inside the former convent of San Francesco, is a must. The museum is made up of works acquired by the municipality of Carrara over the course of the different editions of the International Sculpture Biennial since 1957 to today, from those received from private donations and from the works left in the cloister and made for the event “Designing the Marble”. Don’t miss CARMI - the Carrara and Michelangelo Museum, housed in Villa Fabbricotti, a nineteenth century building located inside Padula Park.