Carrara Marble

Due to its enormous popularity, I have decided to highlight the Carrara Marble for this month’s blog. It is a high quality white or blue-grey marble that became famous for sculpture and building décor in the 17th and 18th century. It is quarried in the city of Carrara which is located in Tuscany, Italy.

I find the history of Carrara to be fascinating. First the quarries were managed by two families; the Cybo and Malaspina families who ruled the region of Massa and Carrara in the mid 1500’s. They put regulations in place and were able to govern the marble mining industry for nearly a century. When the families went extinct the House of Austria took over management of the mines. During their ownership, the Ducal Palace of Massa was built entirely out of Carrara marble.

In the late 1800’s the marble mining industry became a hub for those people who were unable to find work elsewhere, like ex-convicts and fugitives. The work at the quarries was tough, anyone with sufficient muscle and endurance could have a job, regardless of their background. This caused a sub-culture to be born.

The quarry workers and stone carvers had radical beliefs that set them apart from others. Radicalism and Anarchism became part of the heritage of the stone carvers. Many revolutionists with violent tempers who had been expelled from Belgium and Switzerland went to Carrara in 1885 and founded the first anarchist group in Italy. The quarry workers were the main protagonists of the Lunigiana revolt.

Here are a few famous memorials and buildings made from Carrara Stone:


The Carrara quarries have produced more marble than any other place on earth. The prized yield from Carrara quarries through millennia has been Statuario, a pure white marble. Bianco Carrara is classified in C and CD variations as well as well as Bianco Venatino and Stauarietto. There are more expensive exotic variations of Carrara such as Calacatta Gold, Calacatta Borghini, Arabescato Cervaiole and Arabescato Vagli quarried throughout the Carrara area.


See the slabs here:

I hope you enjoyed learning more about Carrara! Have a lovely day!

-Michelle Lapierre



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