Impressive and unbelievable!!!!It up in the mountains and access is easy via the city Carrara.You choose if you want to visit a cave or just outside in the mountains by 4x4.We decided on the cave whereby you are driven in a 4x4 through a 600m long tunnel(formerly a train tunnel). Once you are inside you are greeted by this mass beauty of Marble in Columns....The visit takes upto an hour and the temperature inside the caves is 16C right thorough the year.It is no wonder why price of Marble is astronomical!!!
Riding through the caves of Carrara was just like going into the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland!!! Heading off into the dark... Fun and enjoyable for everybody. You can see workers and trucks at work cutting the famous Italian marble, and can also buy some marble souvenirs along the way. The shops sell marble, quartz and other rocks. We thought this was a great place to explore and had lots of fun. This place is easily accessed through the town of Carrara, although I would recommend going by car, as the tunnels are not accessible by foot and the signs are confusing to follow.
Great views. You will get impressed when you see the huge trucks getting their way up or doen the hill in a very stretch road. Only one of this hige trucks can transit in the dirt road a time. There are a some stores to bring home a pice of Italy. A lot of marble pieces at an affordable prices. Also a couple of trattorias in the area. Lardo sandwiches can be delicious but very heavy since lardo is only cured Pork fat try them but not get hooked up or you will feel the consequences. Is a must do visit dont miss this amazing place. Awsome views for perfect pictures.
We were brought here by a local sculptor who was very knowledgeable about the whole process of turning stone into art. (Btw... don't think of driving here yourself unless you are fearless driver. It's not for the faint of heart.) The tour itself is amazing: driving into the heart of a mountain of marble, down a narrow black tunnel. Inside you have to wear a hard hat and a sweatshirt because it's COLD compared to the heat outside. You see men working to cut the marble. You wonder if the whole thing could cave in! The young woman who explained it all in perfect English was as witty as she was knowledgeable. It's an educational, fun experience.
Carrara is world-famous for its marble, if you're anywhere near it's worth spending a couple of hours even just to drive up to Colonnata, a small village at the end of the road that takes you up into the mountains, surrounded by mines that for thousands of years have been digged. From far away, the landscape lookes almost though covered by snow, when close you'll see the glittering white of the beautiful Carrara marble coming to light.And if your' in Colonnata, you can't miss tasting the special "Lardo di Colonnata" together with some local wine.
We had some trouble to find the location fr the tours as we mistakenly followed all the 'yellow' signs to the 'Cave di Marmo'. Most of these signs are actually only really for the industrial quarry sites as tourist signs are generally Brown. We ended up in Colonnata and lucked inot a wonerful lunch at Osteria Nella Pia. Try anywhere and try to the local Lardo.We we went back dwon and found the Fritto Scritti Tour laoction. Seems there are fiercely competing tour companies, one which does and 'Inside the mine - Cave, and the other doess a tour up the mountain in 4WD to view the quarries and get a rapid explanation of the quarrying process. We took the later thinking we would also get to go inside a cave, but no ! It was an interesting tour but only two stops. Both with impressive views of the valley back toward the town and splendid views of the coast. The next stop was over a working quarry.It was hair raising ride up the hill. There a museum of sorts and a couple fo shops selling marble pieces, mainly touristy articles.We then noted the Marmo Tours which take you inside. There are Photos of what you see so it did look impressive though we didn't go.The Hill tour was 10E adults and 5E for kids. the iside tour was 9E and 4.50E.To arrive, it quite a steep windy drive up but look for signs to Fritti Scritti. It's also a great drive out through quite narrow often dark roughly cut tunnels, all one way though so no panic. Carrara has a main walking street with a nice park at the top with varoius Marble sculptures and a good place to run the kids or grab a coffee on your way out of town. htere is a larger paizza where you see the Duomo which also worth finding a few blocks down to the right facing the sea.
If you are near of Carrara you have to make a trip to this facilities - almost everybody over there offers a guided trip to the underground stone quarry or stone quarry in the mountains. We have decided to make a trip into the hills as they offer a spectaculous view over the whole area.It takes about 1 hour for the trip - take good walking shoes with you, which can get dirty.
We took the Cave di Fantiscritti tour by 4x4 jeep. The tour costs 10E each. I had wanted to go down into one of the caves where they extract marble (some family members had done this last year), but our guide said that that was not done at this time of year (probably too cold). So our tour was entirely in open air. I was a little skeptical about the narrow unpaved roads which were very steep, but our guide was experienced and did not overdo the speed. Nevertheless, it was a little unsettling as we drove up the mountain. The guide was very informative, but his accent was so thick and his constant reference to local names in Italian made it difficult to understand everything. We did learn about the techniques that were used in the old days to quarry this beautiful marble, and were amazed at how they once did it with oxen. I asked about the massive amount of Carrara marble used to build the Getty Center in Los Angeles in the 90s, but the guide had no idea what I was referring to. I think they are just concerned with extracting the marble and take little interest in its ultimate destination. The high point, other than some interesting historical information, is the breathtaking views of the “white” mountains and lower valleys. It’s an outstanding vehicle for taking photos and I took lots, especially since this was a crisp winter day with blue skies and cloudless skies. One word of an advisory nature: there is dampness on the roads everywhere the 4x4 stops. This, combined with ubiquitous marble dust, creates a white mud that’s murder on your shoes. There’s a little outdoor museum at the end of the tour, and there are some interesting artifacts there which are worth the time to study. There’s also a little gift shop where I bought a great refrigerator magnet made out of white marble dust – quite unique and Made in Italy.
I'm so glad I contacted a guide beforehand because I don't believe we would have been able to find this place on our own! Our guide was Guiseppe and he did an excellent job of explaining the quarries with panache! The ride around the quarries in his land rover were exciting and fun.
Carrara's marble quarries ("Cave") are impressive from afar: their whiteness resembles snow, hence the name given to this area of the Appennine Mountains of "Apuane Alps".The visit at the site is very interesting and peculiar, as the "cave" are more an indutrial plant than a musem. Several tours are available, both at the outer open-air quarries and at one of the few underground mines.