Along the Apuan Alps, in Tuscany, the Vie del Marmo extend, a long and fascinating path where marble is the protagonist. The Romans called it Luni marble, from the name of the mysterious population that inhabited this strip of land wedged between the sea and the mountains, between Tuscany, Liguria and Emilia. History, art and the rediscovery of ancient values: this and much more can be found in an environment that knows no time. Today, marble is used in various sectors of building renovation, in particular in the bathroom renovation.
Journey to discover the Marble Ways along the Apuan Alps, between art and flavors
The beating heart of marble processing has always been the city of Carrara, a town nestled between the beauties of Versilia and the Apuan Alps. Walking through the city you immediately breathe an atmosphere of other times and every small alley you walk through hides precious marble creations that leave tourists from all over the world breathless. These paths are highly sought after by interior design and architects, always looking for unique materials for the renovation of houses or bathrooms.
It is the quarrymen of Carrara who for years have kept the secret of the most ancient and mysterious profession ever: the extraction of marble, considered the most loved white gold ever in the world. Then just follow the marble route that leads from Carrara to Colonnata to savor the flavors of other times. Marble cathedrals that shine in their grandeur and bridges suspended in the void where the marble railway passed. A colossal mountain eaten piece by piece by man. The vegetation is poor, it has little land to grow, the houses are small things, squeezed between the edge of the river and the blocks of marble: down there, far away, the sea shines like a promise. The more adventurous can enter the quarries open to the public, such as that of the Fantiscritti, an amphitheater dug in the heart of the mountain, or the quarry of the Piana, which according to tradition inspired Dante's vision of Hell.
Among the active quarries there is also the Cava of Michelangelo, located in the Bacino del Polvaccio, it is in this place that the great master carefully chose the marble blocks used to create marvelous works such as the Pietà.
The journey can only end in a breathtaking landscape between marble mountains and scenarios that leave you speechless, and then you reach the small town of Colonnata. The Monumento al Cavatore is the nerve center of the town, where tourists and inhabitants gather to admire and remember the ancient craft, but you can find pretty glimpses with souvenir shops and for the greediest old trattorias where lard is served, including the most valuable and famous in the world.
An ancient craft
Once upon a time how were the marble blocks extracted to transport them downstream? Have you ever wondered how Michelangelo managed to get those precious blocks that gave life to his great works famous all over the world?
Today, technology has allowed the introduction of machinery such as cranes, bridges and trucks with which this hard work is facilitated and the necessary safety measures have been adopted for the safety of workers. At one time, however, the processes were different, more tiring and without the help of large machinery.
This ancient practice owes its name to the lizze, the beams that were used to transport the marble blocks downstream. The large marble boulders once detached from the walls were hewn to give them a more squared shape and easier to handle. Once extracted, the blocks were placed on a sort of sled, formed by many lines that allowed the adhesion of the block and the descent of the marble. Operations followed to ensure the fixing and stability of the marble blocks and thus avoid possible tragedies during transport.
The sled was then maneuvered and controlled through solid hemp ropes tied to piri, solid wooden poles anchored to the ground, and ran along the slope sliding on the wallpaper, wooden beams placed perpendicular to the path, which allowed the blocks to slide more easily Once reached the loading area, the marble block was transported by wagons and then trucks to reach the area of interest.
A long, tiring and often dangerous path for the quarrymen of the past that has marked history since ancient times up to the 60s. A profession that put man's strength to the test and could last long hours or even days.
An unmissable event for the citizens of Carrara and the many neighboring countries, but also an opportunity for tourists who pass by that territory, is the re-enactment of the lizzatura, the ancient technique of extracting and transporting blocks of marble. In fact, every year at the Fantiscritti quarries near the bridges of Vara, this ancient craft is relived in the summer thanks to the Lizzati Carrara Company. The event, now known throughout the area, not only represents the memory of the past, but aims to highlight a profession that has always been in shadow and to which the right value has never been given.
Marble often becomes a supporting element of our home. It is possible to search for professional suppliers through the web. It is important to understand the type and costs. The house becomes functional only if we know how to use it. Request a quote it always helps to understand if one's dreams of change are useful and functional.
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