During the visit to the Carrara quarries you will admire enchanting views of the Apuan Alps. The Carrara marble tour is carried out in a 4 × 4 Jeep with the assistance of expert guides who will reveal the history of these places and the techniques used over the millennia for the extraction of marble and the continuous challenge between man and the mountain where Michelangelo found the raw material for his works among the most important in the world.
CARRARA QUARRIES TOUR AT A FIRST GLANCE
- 8.00 am – meeting and pick-up at your accommodation in Pisa, Lucca or at the port of Livorno
- 9.30 am – arrival in Carrara
- 10.00 am – start of the tour aboard the 4X4 Jeeps
- 1.30 pm – tasting of the famous “Lardo di Colonnata”
- 2.30 pm – departure and return to your accommodation in Pisa, Lucca or the Port of Livorno
This itinerary is intended only as an orientation guide.
All our tours are flexible and can be modified at will, in case you want to add or remove something from the program.
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A visit to the Carrara Marble Quarries is much more than a simple tour
The visit to the marble quarries of Carrara is a journey to discover the material that has inspired artists of all times; it is the amazement of a unique place in the world; it is the encounter between the wonders of nature and the effort of men who have been extracting marble for over 2000 years, transforming the appearance of the Apuan Alps.
Located about 50 minutes by car from Pisa and Lucca, a few km from the border between Tuscany and Liguria, the Apuan Alps proudly show their whiteness and offer themselves as an exceptional viewpoint over the Gulf of La Spezia and the splendor of the 5 Terre.
Where to start to visit the Carrara quarries
The itinerary to visit the Carrara quarries obviously starts from the city of Carrara, easily reachable by any means of transport.
Michelangelo’s David and Pietà, the futuristic Arche de La Défense in Paris, the Library of Congress in Washington and the Opera House in Oslo are just some of the works created all over the world and in all times with Carrara marble, considered one of the finest materials in the world. Its dazzling whiteness, its aptitude to be worked and transformed, its perfection led first Julius Caesar and then Augustus and subsequent emperors to use it to embellish Rome. The Trajan’s Column, the Pantheon, the Arch of Constantine still tell us about the great history of Rome.
The unique charm of the Carrara Marble Quarries has also inspired Italian and international directors: some scenes of famous films were shot here such as the car chase of 007- Quantum of Solace, Michelangelo Infinito by Emanuele Imbucci, Al Lupo, al Lupo! by Carlo Verdone and Il Capo, a film by Yuri Ancarani dedicated to the life of the workers of the quarries.
Carrara marble cave tour in detail
Visit the Carrara Marble Quarries and let yourself be conquered by a place of absolute and inimitable beauty: we take care of the whole organization and you just have to have fun. In fact, we use 8-seater minibuses to pick up customers staying in hotels, B & Bs, agritourisms and holiday homes in Lucca and Pisa at the place of overnight stay.
And here is the program: we leave at 8:00 to reach Carrara at 9:30. Here, a tour guide awaits us with powerful 4×4 Jeeps, always 8 seats, capable of climbing up to the most famous marble basins, along the winding and suggestive roads that lead to the immense open-air quarries and those hidden in the bowels of the mountains. The Carrara Marble Tour by jeep then starts at 10:00!
The marble basins
Located at over 1000 m above sea level, the Miseglia Basin develops near the Bridges of Vara, an infrastructure built in the late 1800s for the transport of marble blocks by rail. These bridges today represent the road used by heavy vehicles.
In the same area we find the Torano Basin, where the Michelangelo quarry is located. The great artist, in fact, wanted to personally choose the marble to use and identified here the blocks that would give life to some of his works.
Going down around 500 m a.s.l. you can visit the Colonnata Basin, with its 500 hectares of quarries. During the visit to the Carrara quarries you will admire enchanting views while the guides will tell in Italian and English the history of these places and the techniques used over the millennia by the men who dedicated their lives to the extraction of marble. Imagine, for example, that in the 1960s blocks were transported by sliding special sleds on a series of wooden beams. The very difficult and tiring task of guiding the heavy blocks with cables and poles along slopes, cliffs and curves to the “loader hill” fell to the workers. The sleds were called “lizze” hence the name of “lizzatura” given to this method of transport.
At the end of the Marble Tour Carrara, lasting about 3 hours, a stop in Colonnata is scheduled for a taste of the famous lard: placed to mature in marble tubs, it will amaze you with its delicate, sweet and spicy taste.