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Carrara

Overview

If the world does have a 'home of marble' - and perhaps many could lay claim to such a title - Carrara is certainly first on the list. It was here to the Apuan alps that Michelangelo would come, to find his raw material. This tells you all you need to know - except that the city was first mentioned in documents dating back more than a thousand years. Many tourists only visit the quarry sites, starting with the nearby Colonnata. But the historic centre of Carrara, partially modernised after the bombings of 1945, is definitely worth a closer look, especially for its cathedral, the Duomo di Sant'Andrea, a remarkable Romanesque-Gothic construction, mainly dating from the 14th century. The architecture is reminiscent of the finest churches of Pisa, while the aisles inside are lined with statues and frescoes dating from the 1200s to the 1500s. There is also a crucifix at the high altar and two statues of the Annunciation, also from the 14th century. The eye is inevitably drawn to the elaborate reliefs on the pulpit, and you'll also notice that the steps leading up to it are hewn from a single block of marble. Nearby, you can sit and relax at the little tables in Piazza Alberica, a wide and welcoming town square with a monument to Maria Beatrice d'Este in the centre. Between the 18th and 19th centuries, Maria Beatrice was the last princess of Carrara, representing a rare derogation to the age-old rule common to all of Europe (except Britain), which prevented women from ascending the throne. A little outside the centre, in Via Canal del Rio, you can see a collection of works by the many well-known Italian and international artists who have worked in Carrara since the mid-20th century, at mudaC, the Carrara Museum of Arts. It's a good idea to check the exhibition listings as soon as you arrive in Carrara, because there is almost always something worth seeing.

Carrara

54033 Comune di Carrara, Via Solferino sn, Carrara MS, Italia

Call 0585641471419

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