Culture mines in the Apuan Riviera
Carrara is the world capital of marble, where Michelangelo himself sourced his materials.
Its small town centre is full of surprises that you can discover on a short walk. The town's origins are tied to the local marble quarries, known the world over since Roman times. Today, to speak of Carrara means to speak of marble so precious that it is referred to as “white gold”. The marble has been a prized commodity for artists and illustrious individuals throughout the ages.
Originally in Emilia-Romagna and only becoming part of Tuscany in the census of 1881, this expanse of land is home to Massa and Carrara, two culture mines not to be missed.
Today, very much Tuscan in spirit and identity, the area is a welcome break from the well-trodden streets of Florence and Pisa. Leave no stone unturned and set aside three days for an immersion in this often-overlooked corner of Tuscany.
Massa to Carrara
Start the day with a short walk up to the rocky hills of the Apuan alps to visit Malaspina Castle, a 12th century castle that has undergone various transformations throughout the years. Despite being a prison from the end of the 19th century to 1946 it has some beautiful internal and external frescoes plus a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside.