Carrara tourism: what to see, attractions, monuments and churches
What to see in Carrara, attractions and interesting places to visit, the main monuments and churches with tourist route to walk in the historic Tuscan town.
It ‘a city in Tuscany, situated between the coast and the furthest reaches of the Apuan Alps, famous for their prized white marble, whose mining and processing has made this city famous. The old town of Carrara, surrounded by the beautiful mountains, develops just higher than the modern part, which extends to the sea. The city has a long history, the first settlements date back to the ninth century BC, when the area was inhabited by the people of the Ligurian-Apuani.
Under Roman rule, which emerged around 180 BC, began the extraction of marble, although it is not certain that it was precisely the Romans to discover the deposits. However, it was during the Roman era that assumed considerable importance this activity. Splendid monuments of ancient Rome were built with this valuable material, there was done to arrive by sea through the nearby port of Luni.
The oldest part of Carrara corresponds precisely to the first inhabited by quarrymen. After the Roman Period, at least until the eleventh century mining was of little importance, only towards the end of the thirteenth century there was a resumption of the excavation, but always with manual technique, as the Romans used to do. In the eighteenth century, they began to use the explosives in quarries, until it came into use a specific system to cut the marble, which over time has increasingly evolved.
The appearance of the historic center of Carrara, characterized by refined architecture in white marble, and picturesque spots of the Middle Ages, has been defined at the time of Alberico Cybo Malaspina, Prince and Marquis of Massa Carrara, in the mid-sixteenth century.
What to see in Carrara
The Cathedral of St. Andrew, is a beautiful building in the Romanesque-Gothic (sec. XI-XIV), all coated with marble bands white and gray, adorned with a finely sculpted Romanesque portal and surmounted by a fine Gothic rose window. The bell tower is the second half of the thirteenth century, the interior retains a valuable painted cross of the fourteenth century, as well as the beautiful marble sculptures.
It was built in the seventeenth century by Alberico Cybo Malaspina, close to the city walls by himself made build. On it you overlook noble buildings from that period, the pavement is inlaid with precious marble of the Apuan Alps, in the middle stands the statue of Maria Beatrice d’Este is the most beautiful square of Carrara.
Academy of Fine Arts
It is located in the Renaissance palace that was the residence of the Cybo Malaspina in Piazza Mazzini. It ‘a sixteenth century, expanded in the following centuries, which stands on an earlier medieval castle. The building was donated in 1805 by Elisa Baciocchi sister of Napoleon and Grand Duchess of Tuscany, at the Academy of Fine Arts, founded in 1769 by Maria Teresa Cybo Malaspina.
In the courtyard is a valuable collection of sculptures of Roman, medieval and modern, including the shrine of Fantiscritti, a Roman bas-relief dated 203-212 AD, found in the quarry of the same name where they were carved three figures, the miners began to call “Fanti”, ie youths, in reality it is the representations of Jupiter, Hercules and Bacchus. Many visitors imprinted on the marble sign of their passage leaving their names engraved on, among these there are signatures of famous people like Giambologna, Canova and others. The entire cave got its name from this kiosk.
Civic Museum of Marble
It ‘an exhibition facility that is located in the resort Stadium, Viale XX Settembre, formed by various sections of the production and processing of marble in the Apuan Alps.