Theme Week Tuscany – Carrara

Tuesday, 24 January 2012 - 01:58 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Piazza Alberica with Beatrice Maria d'Este monument © Davide Papalini

Piazza Alberica with Beatrice Maria d’Este monument © Davide Papalini

Carrara is a city and comune in the province of Massa-Carrara, notable for the white or blue-grey marble quarried there. It is on the Carrione River, some 100 kilometres (62 mi) west-northwest of Florence. Its motto is Fortitudo mea in rota (Latin for “My force is in the wheel”).

The quarry workers, including the stone carvers, had radical beliefs that set them apart from others. Ideas from outside the city began to influence the Carrarese. Anarchism and general radicalism became part of the heritage of the stone carvers. According to a New York Times article of 1894 many violent revolutionists who had been expelled from Belgium and Switzerland went to Carrara in 1885 and founded the first anarchist group in Italy. The district in which the quarries are situated was consequently the original hotbed of anarchism in Italy. Carrara has remained a continuous ‘hotbed’ of anarchism in Italy, with several organizations located openly in the city. The Anarchist marble workers were also the driving force behind organising labour in the quarries and in the carving sheds. Carrara is the birthplace of the International Federation of Anarchists (IFA), formed in 1968.

Piazza Aberica © Corradox Palazzo Cybo Malaspina, Accademia delle Belle Arti di Carrara © Davide Papalini Palazzo Cassa di Risparmio © Davide Papalini Fountain on Piazza Gramsci - Davide Papalini A Carraran marble quarry © flickr.com - rdesai Piazza Alberica with Beatrice Maria d'Este monument © Davide Papalini
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Palazzo Cybo Malaspina, Accademia delle Belle Arti di Carrara © Davide Papalini
Carrara marble has been used since the time of Ancient Rome; the Pantheon and Trajan’s Column in Rome are constructed of it. Many sculptures of the Renaissance, such as Michelangelo’s David, were carved from Carrara marble. For Michelangelo at least, Carrara marble was valued above all other stone, except perhaps that of his own quarry in Pietrasanta. The Marble Arch in London and the Duomo di Siena are also made from this stone, as are the interiors of Manila Cathedral, the cold-white marbles of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the campus of Harvard Medical School.

The statue to Robert Burns which commands a central position in Dumfries was carved in Carrara by Italian craftsmen working to Amelia Paton Hill’s model. It was unveiled by future UK Prime Minister, Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery on 6 April 1882. In addition to the marble quarries, the city has academies of sculpture and fine arts and a museum of statuaries and antiquities, and a yearly marble technology fair. The local marble is exported around the world, and marble from elsewhere is also fashioned and sculpted commercially here.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on nytimes.com – Overnight in Carrara, Italy and Wikipedia Carrara. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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