Carrara, Italy and its world famous marble • Earth.com

Carrara, Italy and its world famous marble

03-25-2022

Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency features the Italian city of Carrara, which is known around the world for its prestigious marble. Carrara is located on the Carrione River in northern Tuscany about 130 kilometers from Florence. 

“The city is famous for its white or blue-grey marble, called Carrara, taken from nearby quarries in the Apuan Alps, a mountain range that stretches for approximately 55 kilometers and reaching around 2,000 meters high,” reports ESA. “What appears as snow cover on the rugged mountains is actually bright white marble, contrasting with Tuscany’s lush green vegetation.”

According to ESA, Carrara marble is one of the most prestigious marbles in the world, and its quarries produce more marble than any other place on Earth. The famous stone was formed by calcite-rich shells that were left behind by marine organisms after they died. 

“When water bodies evaporate, the deposited remains form limestone, and when buried under multi-tonne layers of rock, the intense heat and pressure cause the limestone to metamorphose into marble,” explains ESA.

“The special quality of the Carrara marble has made it a popular resource for many famous sculptures, including Michelangelo’s Pietà, and has been used for some of the most remarkable buildings in Ancient Rome, including the Pantheon and Trajan’s Column.”

Video/ Image Credit: European Space Agency 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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