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Beneath the immense marble quarries of Carrara – the glory of the Apuan Alps – the village of Colonnata is the glory of lard. There are, of course, other places on the planet where excellent lard is produced, but Colonnata is unique for indisputable geological reasons and because of its tradition of curing lard for at least six months in Carrara marble vats. To taste it is to believe, and perhaps agree with the Tuscan wordplay that speaks of "lard rock café". Although lard is already a good reason to climb from the Tyrrhenian coast to the nearby Colonnade, the real scenic attraction is the marble quarries themselves. Excursions are also organised by jeep (don't even think for a moment about driving a normal car!), to see for yourself how dangerous the quarry workers' tasks are. Today, the transport of heavy tonne blocks to the port of Marina di Carrara is more mechanised, but in historical times, the descent took place on soapy timbers, with only the precarious and very risky braking allowed by the large ropes of the "lizzatori". Woe betide those who made mistakes. The quarries upstream of Carrara are very numerous. In addition to Colonnata, the main marble basins are located not far away at Ponti di Vara Fantiscritti and Torano, and vice versa further away and higher up at Campocecina, in the Apuan Alps Regional Park towards Fosdinovo.


54033 Colonnata MS, Italia

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