January 10th , 2009 → 7:24 pm @ admin

View-From-Front-of-HouseCarrara, situated in the magnificent Apuan Alps, is famous all over the world for its valued white marble.  The town of Carrara has medieval origins and has some interesting marble buildings and sculptures.   Piazza Alberica is the heart of the town and the statue of MariaBeatrice d’Este, a beloved 18th century queen, is at its centre.  Around the perimeter are elegant buildings of the 17th and 18th centuries, among which is the particularly beautiful red coloured Palazzo del Medico.  Building of the dome of the Palazzo was started in the 11th century but was not completed until three hundred years later.  This time span is evident in the differing design of parts of the building – some Roman, some Gothic.  The altars, holy-water fonts and the pulpit made of pure white and coloured marbles are reminders of the town’s main source of work and trade throughout the centuries.

Worth a visit is The Museo Civico del Marmo (The Civic Marble Museum) on viale XX settembre, which was built to promote and preserve the local marble industry. As the focal point of the town’s heritage, the museum organizes exhibitions, conferences and restoration campaigns designed to forge new links between the town and its traditions, and receives over 18,000 visitors from Italy and abroad every year. The museum comprises seven sections, six indoors and one outdoors, which take the visitor on a tour through the complex and fascinating world of Apuan marble, with archaeological finds, graphic and photographic documents, casts and educational scale models, a marble archive, and a collection of contemporary sculpture, artefacts from industrial archaeology, and machinery used for extracting and processing marble.

L’Accademia di Belle Arti (The Academy of Fine Arts) on via Roma, has a collection of plaster moulds of masterpieces, including the statue, Napoleon the Great, by Canova.  Other marble museums and galleries in the town include La Cava-museo di Fantiscritti, Il Museo della Scultura,and Il Museo di storia naturale e dell’uomo. There are also marble workshops and shops all over the town.

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