Marble quaries of the Apuane Alps...
Unmistakeable scars seen from the autostrada running along the Versilian coast, the flatlands separating the Mediterranean Sea from the foothills of the Apuane Alps, the only mountian range perpendicular to the Italian peninsula. Often they strike as emormous agglomerations of Winter's snow. The quaries of the Alpi Apuane. Vertically carved for millenium... legend says they are the oldest industry, pre-dating the Roman Empire by several centuries. The exposed marble bleaches in the sun. The veining of the marble defines its type: Carrara, Calacatta, Staturio and so on. The dust is used as a whitening agent in toothpaste. Far cry from when Michelangleo arrived by mule with a few rudimentary tools and a couple of assistants to search, inspect, select and cut blocks of marbles. The beginnings of liberating what's held within... a David or, the facings to a pope's tomb in Rome. Michelangelo's biographer believes the artist envisioned a single, enormous figure to be sculpted on site. Obviously, never realised and the failure, apparently, was painful for the rest of the artist's life.
You can visit these quaries. An exciting excursion. Bring your nerve pills. Quite a drop on one side of the dirt road. But, you will marvel at what you see. Contact Your Italian Concierge at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inspiration for this article and imagery credited to La Repubblica newspaper, Italy.