Carrara, Italy

You may not be familiar with the City of Carrara, Italy but you are certain to be familiar with one of its most important natural resources.
This Tuscan seaside community of 65,000 residents lies approximately 100 km northwest of Florence, and along the coast of the Ligurian Sea. Trains run frequently from Florence to Carrara and takes approximately 2 hours on Trenitalia.

Carrara’s history is known to go back to as early as the 9th century BC, when people known as the Apuan Ligures lived in the area. The beautiful beaches known as the Apuan Riviera with crystal clear waters and a dramatic view of the Apuan Alps is named after these early settlers.

Marble Quarries of Carrara, ItalyThe single most famous resource of Carrara is the vast mountains of marble that lies directly above the city. The huge deposits of marble in the Apuan Alps are so distinct from the city that you might mistake the marble for snow-capped mountains. Carrara’s marble is one of the most highly prized and most expensive building and sculpture products in the world. In fact one of the most famous sculptures in the world, Michelangelo’s statue of David, is made of Carrara marble. Among other notable structures created from Carrara marble are the Marble Arch in Hyde Park, London, the Duomo of Siena, and the Pantheon in Rome.

The marble quarries of Carrara, known as the “Raveneti” have been excavated for over 2,000 years and currently transports several hundred thousand pounds of marble each year. You are able to take a self-guided tour up to the Raveneti by driving up towards the town of Colonatta and following the signs that read “Cave di Marmo” or marble caves. It isn’t far of a drive but please be advised that it is a narrow mountain road and you might encounter vehicles transporting marble down the hill.

If you are in the City of Carrara, there are plenty of other interesting sites to see during your stay. Among the most prominent attractions in the city are the Duomo, completed during the 12th century, the Ducal Palace, the Academy of Fine Arts, and the Church and Convent of San Francesco. There are also plenty of excellent places for hotel and bed and breakfast accommodations throughout the city. Among the highest rated hotels in the city is the aptly named Hotel Michelangelo, located I the heart of the city. And just 5 km from the center of town is the Marina di Carrara, popular seaside resort. Here you can find interesting restaurants and other overnight accommodations, such as the Hotel Exclusive.

Weather averages in the region from range from of a low of 39 degrees Fahrenheit and a high of 47 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months and a low of 69 degrees to a high of 84 degrees during the summer months.


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