Bianco Carrara marble: a prestigious natural Italian stone famous all over the world
Bianco Carrara is considered, both in Italy and abroad, the Italian marble par excellence. This stone is extracted from the Apuan Alps in Carrara where there are the most known millenary tradition quarries in the world.
Even today, as in Roman age, it is used for the realization of:
- refined load-bearing elements in construction: architraves, capitals, columns, pillars, bases
- prestigious architectural components: coverings, cornices, pilasters, floorings
- exclusive ornamental elements: portals, fountains, altars, stele, gravestones
- elegant decorative objects and statues
The white colour
This lithotype is a solid and uniform crystalline marble from fine to medium variable grain. It is characterized by a very high percentage of calcium carbonate: white calcite crystals. The calcite has a low refraction index: it allows light to enter in the stone giving it a special shininess before being reflected. This makes the white marble precious and refined: it is an elegant material that gives brightness to locations.
Bianco Carrara, according to colour characteristics, white purity level and intrusions and veins typologie, is classified in different commercial categories.
Tuscany especially Apuan Alps in Carrara
The background shade is the pearly white with a light cloud effect; it is characterized by intrusions, greyish points more or less visible and millimetric or centimetric greyish multi-coloured veins.
It is suitable for floorings, staircases, coverings, fireplaces, sculptures, fountains, monuments, funerary art, ornamental works and decorative objects. The placement of the works is recommended for interior locations; for the exterior locations it is necessary to consider the specific conditions. This marble belongs to the category of stones that can be polished. It is appropriate for every finishing typologie; the obtained effect, after the handmade antique finishing, is very special
The first information concerning this marble date back to the I century B.C. during the Roman Empire, even if some fragments of white marble were found in the necropolis and cemeteries dating back to the IV century B.C. In ancient times the Romans called this lithotype, or rather this rocks category, marmor lunensis which means “marble of Luni”. Luni was an important and ancient extraction and boarding centre on the Ligurian Sea, in the city of Ortonovo at the border between Liguria and Tuscany. From this town the Romans used to organize the departures of ships transporting white marble blocks and destined to reach Rome for the public constructions, the noble residences and the monumental sculptures. Afterward Carrara became the extraction centre from which it took the name of Bianco Carrara marble.
The information contained in this article are for guidance only. We remind you that a lot of marbles are mentioned with the well-known commercial name, often different from the real one.
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Works realized by Arte 2000:
Italian ornamental rocks – Catalogue of the Museum of Art and mineral deposits. The Sapienza – University of Rome