With inhabitants numbering 65,000 Carrara is a town in the Apuan Alps, and is known throughout the industry as the most famous Italian centre for the extraction of white marble. It was and still is, in some ways, the founding father of the Anarchism.
Carrara has links back to ancient times. In particular the word “Kar” which meant stone.
The origins of the town itself go back to the Middle Ages when following the revocation of the Luni Coast by threatening barbarian forces, the people were left no option, but to move inland.
This small town is the last main centre on the way through northern Tuscany and it is bordered by Liguria and Emilia Romagna. It is characterized by its citizens - simple, but hard working people. The work in a quarry is a very hard way of life.
The locally spoken dialect is called “carrarino” but has no similarities with the classical Tuscan that is more widely spoken. This dialect has strong similarities to Italian Gallic.
Vista panoramica Carrara e Alpi ApuaneThe marble quarries in the majestic mountains of the Apuan Alps, overhang the territory of Versilia. These marble basins were exploited in Roman times, when huge blocks were loaded onto ships and were then transported from the port of Luni to Rome. There the blocks were hewn by craftsmen into sculptures and architectural masterpieces which were then dispatched to the far reaches of the Roman Empire, and are still visible throughout the world to this day.
Carrara is surrounded by small mountain villages which in the last century used to be home to the quarrymen and their families. Since then the charming village of COLONNATA, has been the “guardian” of the world famous delicacy “LARDO DI COLONNATA”. This bacon fat lard was a well used foodstuff of the quarrymen and is an unmistakable ingredient found in many typical dishes of the area. It is also found in many “larderie” – typical shops where they sell Lardo. Along the streets of the town and the small mountain villages, there are small souvenir shops where you can find locally made hand crafted items. During the week in the summer season and the month of August, traffic is limited in the village of Colonnata. You can make use of the shuttle bus (1€ per person), departing from "SOUVENIR LA MINIERA " approximately 1 km outside Colonnata.
Tourists are constantly unaware that steep sided mountains that enclose this sleepy village are not in actual fact capped with real snow. What they are really looking at, is the white marble basin.
The local economy is linked on the whole to all avenues of the marble trading industry. The mined blocks are extracted and then transferred down to the port Marina di Carrara, and from here they are exported to all parts of the globe.
Marina di Carrara is the principle port in the world for the commercial boarding and landings of marble and granite.
Accademia di Belle ArtiThe Academy of Fine Arts has a magical atmosphere. It is attended by students from all around the world and was founded by Maria Teresa Cybo “The Duchess of Massa” in 1757. Inside it houses the famous "EDICOLA" and it gives the name to the most beautiful place in the province – FANTISCRITTI. In Fantiscritti you will find the CAVA MUSEO. This is a delightful open-air museum and was constructed by Walter Danesi. Here visitors will have the opportunity to savour the culture of the quarrymen. You can admire large sculpted pieces of marble and appreciate the various excavation systems and instruments used by the ancient Romany. This charming place tells the story of 2000 years of marble life and a typical quarryman’s house has been reconstructed. There is also a souvenir annex. Entrance is free.