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Carrara, Italy
Carrara, Italy

Carrara

Cities and Towns in Tuscany

The city of Carrara is located in the North Western province of Massa Carrara, the northern most region in Tuscany. It shares a border with the neighbouring region of Liguria, that is world famous now for the Cinque Terre National Park.  
 
The marble caves found in Carrara and the town of Pietrasanta make a great stop to make on your way between Florence and the Cinque Terre National Park.  The province of Massa-Carrara is an incredibly fascinating geographical area.  As is noticeable in several of the photographs, it looks as though the mountains near Massa and Carrara are all covered with snow and it's quite amazing in the summer looking from the coast to the mountains - high above, these mountains are some of the  whitest and most pristine marble-mountains in the world.  
 
The city of Carrara in this Norh Western corner of Tuscany, has managed to conserve more evidence of its medieval history than its more modern sister town  "Massa" has over the centuries, which is more modern on a whole than is Carrara who has a much larger historical centre.
 
Taking a walk through the town centre of Carrara or visiting the marble caves deep in the mountains behind the town is fascinating.  To walk in the same valleys as Michelangelo did as he searched for the perfect marble needed in order make possible the marvelous creations is nothing short of inspiring. 
 
In Carrara, everything that can be built of marble is, and why not?  The mountains just behind the city of Carrara have produced some of the finest  pieces of marble the world has ever seen. 
 
Quite literally, just stepping out of your door in Carrara will have you walking on this precious stone, for the cobblestones in Carrara are quite literally made out of Marble. It was cheaper for the town to use what was readily available to them, rather than ship other types of rock in. 
 
Some guide books that we have perused say that visiting North Western Tuscany may not be worth your time unless you are a "marble worshipper", but visiting Massa, Carrara and Pietrasanta, give a very interesting and important perspective on Tuscany, that we believe many people may find interesting and inspirations. 
 
 Via Santa Maria, which branches from the spacious piazza where the Academy of Beautiful Arts is located, is a great example of the city's success in maintaining its original Medieval structure.
 
Carrara's cathedral is very unique in that it consists of a combination of many different styles of architecture as well as marble.
 
It was started in the 11th century and finished in the 14th. It has a façade which shows clear evidence of two different phases of construction: there's a part with a solid Romanesque base and one part that's very light, with fine thin columns and Gothic style arches.
 
The art of stone masonry has long been a traditional trade of this Tuscan province. Carrara in particular is famous all over the world for its white marble which is derived from the many marble caves in the area. 
 
The trade generated through the commercial activity involving the marble has always been a source of great income to the city.
 
Visiting the coastal region in addition to the towns of Pietrasanta, Massa and Carrara make for a fascinating day in Northwest Tuscany.

 

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