Carrara’s Marble – Cavo Di Marmo

David in Florence

I guess you all know David, not only Biblical hero, famous king from the Old Testament, but also a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created at the beginning of 16th century by Michelangelo (no, not the ninja turtle). The statue is 17 foot high and it is placed in Accademia Gallery in Florence and the copy of it you can find on public in front of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.

But back to the original statue. It was carved from the marble from Carrara, which is the city in Northern Tuscany in Ligurian Apennines. The marble quarries are located above the city in the mountains and already from afar you can see snow white hill sides shining in the sun. I am not surprised that Michelangelo chose this material for his masterpiece; you can visit the house in Carrara where he lived, when he was looking for the material for his other works there.

Carrara Hills and Marble factory

During our trip to Tuscany we decided to visit one of the marble quarry in Carrara. The marble from here is used since the time of Ancient Rome and you should check on the internet, where in the world you can see it (like interiors of Manila Cathedral, the cold-white marbles of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the campus of Harvard Medical School). We drove our car through the city, slowly climbing up the mountain, choosing one of many signs to “Cavo di marmo” (marble quarry).

Up the hill

And we were getting higher and higher and the street was more and more arduous, soon we saw a sign 15 degrees and later on 18. To be honest I haven’t seen this one, I was so concentrated on the street and full of fear, my eyes wide opened and my breath almost taken away. The car was going on the lowest gear and I felt like it is going to turn on its back every minute, I believe it was neither 15 nor 18; it must have been 45 degrees at least! We drove between the quarries up and up to the place called Ravaccione, where are the ruins of the stone cutting factory. There we left the car, I found my breath again and we had time to admire the brilliant views.

Marble caves

For sure I also collected some small pieces of the white glittering stones for my desk and my mother’s garden. The place really has its magic; everything is covered with white or lightly grey dust, the water in the spring looks more like milk, the small pieces of marble are shimmering in the bright light. After taking a huge number of pictures and much smaller number of marble pieces we went back down. This direction was not that scary, also we met a track loaded with big pieces of marble going down with us. On some places it went through the washing places where its chassis was showered and cleaned, so the streets in the city down there were not covered with a white mud.

Marble garbage

So if you have a trip to Italy, I highly recommend visiting this place, for its raw beauty and strangeness. And don’t forget to go to Florence to see the David statue, but I think this one I don’t have to admonish.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi UAE

Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi UAE

By the way if you are really interested, you can have your bathroom made from Carrara’s marble.

Angel from Carrara Marble in Prague in Klementinum complex

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Travel theme: Pale | PragueByKaty
  2. okna Drewniane Czy pcv
    Apr 11, 2013 @ 07:51:02

    Nie jestem aż takim Internet maniakiem jesli mam być uczciwa, niemniej jednak twój blog jest tak wciągające i naprawdę bez trudu się
    je czyta, że nie mogłam sie oderwać.Faktycznie miło:),
    tak trzymać!. Wielkie dziękiza wyborną lekturę.


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