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The Marble Quarries of Carrara and Massa
Individuals, families, small or large groups

Due to their extremely close location to one another, Massa and Carrara are classified as one single province. However they are still two completely different cities in terms of culture, activities and education. Carrara, has always been known for its refined marble, testimony to the city's Medieval background. Whereas, Massa, has been more influenced by the domination of Malaspina Family (who ruled the city between the 15th and 16th centuries) and also by the certain changes made to the city during the 19th century which still have a strong influence over numerous aspects of the city even today.

At the beginning of the 19th century Massa was under the control of Elisa Baciocchi, sister of Napoleone, who governed the city as the Grand Duchess of Tuscany. She had a huge influence over the city making many significant changes throughout her reign, namely to the structure of the city. In fact, the current structure of the city centre is thanks to her as she authorised the regeneration of some of the most important areas of the city (such as the Piazza degli Aranci, which was appointed as the focal point of all activity in the city by her).

The urban renewal of the city during the 19th century succeeded in reorganising and improving the old regions of the city. However, consequently there are now few traces of the city's original medieval structure. One of the only examples of the city's Medieval heritage is the imposing Rocca which the city's most prominent building which was constructed between the 15th and 16th centuries, the centre of which is very much Medieval in its style.

Carrara, on the other hand, has managed to conserve much more evidence of its own ancient background despite being in close proximity to Malaspina. For example, Via Santa Maria, which branches from the spacious piazza where the Academy of Beautiful Arts is located, is a great example of the city's success in maintaining its original Medieval structure.

The city's cathedral is very unique in that it consists of a combination of many different styles of architecture. Started in the 11th century and finished in the XIV, it has a façade which shows clear evidence of two different phases of construction: there's a part with a solid Romanesque base and one part that's very light, with fine thin columns and Gothic style arches.

The art of stone masonry has long been a traditional trade of this Tuscan province. Carrara in particular is famous all over the world for its white marble (whose origins date back to Etruscan times) which is derived from the many marble caves in the area. The trade generated through the commercial activity involving the marble has always been a source of great income to the city.

The province of Massa Carrara is located in North Western Tuscany sharing a border with Liguria (those who have heard Tuscan dialects, will notice the unique accent of the local inhabitants which consists of an unmistakable blend of Tuscan consonants and Ligurian vowels).

Tour details

Booking: IV Travel

Duration: 8-9 hours
Price: depends on number of passengers and season - contact us for prices
Entrance fees: € 20.00 pp
Departure: Florence - you tell us when.
When: Wednesday
Includes: wine tastings
Suggestions: dress for the weather, comfortable shoes, camera.  Wear long pants or skirts and cover arms for churches.

Our fleet: Deluxe Mercedes Benz air conditioned Sedan and 2007 Deluxe Mercedes Benz air conditioned minibus (accomodate up to 7 passengers)

Payment: All major credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) or advanced wire transfer

Season: All Year

Language: English

Cancellation:  Passengers may cancel with 100% refund up to 24 hours in advance, otherwise, no refund.

Tour Type: Private (non-scheduled)
When: Every day
From: Florence, Fiesole, Pisa, Lucca, Montecatini, Pistoia, Prato, San Miniato, and many other Tuscan towns
Pick-up/Drop off: Your hotel, villa, B&B, apartment or any other place you want.