Carrara Marble Quarries, Apennine Mountains, Tuscany

From the coast, the Apennine Mountains to the east of Carrara in Tuscany seem to shine brilliant white from the glaciers at their summits. Then you realise the peaks aren’t tall enough to support glaciers this far south.

The Apennine Mountains at Carrara, Tuscany

In fact, the white shine comes not from snow and ice, but from the marble that makes up part of this section of the Apennines, the mountain chain that runs down the spine of Italy.

One of the massive marble exposures at Carrara

The highest-quality Carrara (often misspelled Carrera) marble is relatively fine-grained and particularly favoured by sculptors, including Michelangelo.

Sculpture of an ox team at one of the quarries

Another sculpture, this time of a marble quarryman from days gone by

Marble sculpture of a marble sculptor

Marble from Carrara has also been used in the construction of buildings around the World, from the Pantheon in Rome to the Palacio Legislativo in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Nearly 2000 years ago, the Romans used Carrara marble in the construction of the Pantheon in Rome

Carrara marble was shipped all the way to Montevideo in South America to build the Palacio Legislativo, the Uruguayan Parliament

Just as impressive in their own way, are the quarries from which as much as a million tons of marble are extracted each year. Around 650 separate quarries have been documented, some dating back to Roman times. Over the centuries they’ve produced more marble than anywhere else in the World.

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This post was inspired by the photo themes of Ooh, Shiny and Grainy from The Daily Post, and Words Beginning with Ap from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.



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Jaspa's Journey is a series of award-winning, travel-based adventure novels for strong middle grade readers by Rich Meyrick. Join the Adventure! Read the books! Follow Jaspa’s ongoing Journeys at Let's explore this amazing world together! And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
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10 Responses to Carrara Marble Quarries, Apennine Mountains, Tuscany

  1. Stephen Rees says:

    It wasn’t until I visited the Roman remains in Rome that I realized they didn’t actually build things out of marble. The buildings left now are mostly brick – and lots of concrete. The marble was used for facing – and has nearly all been stolen since.

    • Jaspa says:

      That’s right, Stephen. Understandably, marble was too expensive to use where it wouldn’t be seen. And I also believe Roman concrete was a lot stronger too, so they preferred to use it behind the scenes, as it were.

  2. mithriluna says:

    So interesting. I just read an article about these quarries in the New York Times. I love your pictures of the sculptures.

  3. Wonderful landscapes!

  4. Pingback: WPC: Oooo 2 Shiny | Lillie-Put

  5. Pingback: May I take picture? – Los Angeles In the Wild

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