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Place: Carrara

Carrara (near ancient Luna) is a small town in north-western Tuscany in the Apuan Alps. It is famed for its quarries of white and grey marble and has been the centre of the international marble trade for the best part of the last 500 years. Marble was first quarried here in the Etruscan period but large scale extraction did not occur until the mid 1st century BC and intensified significantly in the reign of Augustus. Many of the largest monuments erected in Rome in the late 1st century BC, 1st and 2nd centuries AD were built in in marble from Carrara. Marble from Carrara was shipped from the port of nearby Luna to where it was transported first by sledge then waggon down the steep mountainsides. Quarrying at Carrara seems to have slowed in the late 2nd century AD, perhaps due to the silting of the harbour at Luna. Work at the quarries remained much reduced until the Renaissance when demand for marble increased once more.

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