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Title: Carrara  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 1991 FIFA U-17 World Championship, Province of Massa and Carrara, Carrarese Calcio, Federico Bernardeschi, Giovanni Baratta
Collection: Carrara, Cities and Towns in Tuscany
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Comune di Carrara
The area around Carrara, seen from an aircraft flying at 10,000 metres. The town is at the top of the picture, nearest to the marble quarries which are the white markings on the mountains.
The area around Carrara, seen from an aircraft flying at 10,000 metres. The town is at the top of the picture, nearest to the marble quarries which are the white markings on the mountains.
Coat of arms of Carrara
Coat of arms
Carrara is located in Italy
Location of Carrara in Italy
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province Massa and Carrara (MS)
Frazioni Avenza, Bedizzano, Bergiola, Bonascola, Castelpoggio, Codena, Colonnata, Fontia, Fossola, Gragnana, Marina di Carrara, Miseglia, Nazzano, Noceto, Sorgnano, Torano
 • Mayor Angelo Zubbani (PSI)
 • Total 71 km2 (27 sq mi)
Elevation 100 m (300 ft)
Population (31 May 2008)
 • Total 65,491
 • Density 920/km2 (2,400/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Carraresi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 54033
Dialing code 0585
Patron saint San Ceccardo
Saint day June 16

Carrara (Emilian: Carara) is a city and comune in the Province of Massa and Carrara (Tuscany, Italy), notable for the white or blue-grey marble quarried there. It is on the Carrione River, some 100 kilometres (62 mi) west-northwest of Florence.

Its motto is Fortitudo mea in rota (Latin: "My strength is in the wheel").


  • History 1
    • Title 1.1
  • Main sights 2
  • Economy and culture 3
  • Derivation of name 4
  • Twin towns 5
  • Notable people 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9



There were known settlements in the area as early as the 9th century BC, when the Apuan Ligures lived in the region. The current town originated from the borough built to house workers in the marble quarries created by the Romans after their conquest of Liguria in the early 2nd century BC. Carrara has been linked with the process of quarrying and carving marble since the Roman Age. Marble was exported from the nearby harbour of Luni at the mouth of river Magra.[1]

In the Middle Ages it was a Byzantine and Lombard possession, and then, it was under bishops of Luni, turning itself into an city-state in the early 13th century; during the struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines, Carrara usually belonged to the latter party. The Bishops acquired it again in 1230, their rule ending in 1313, when the city was given in succession to the Republics of Pisa, Lucca and Florence. Later it was acquired by Gian Galeazzo Visconti of Milan.

After the death of Filippo Maria Visconti of Milan in 1447, Carrara was fought over by Tommaso Campofregoso, lord of Sarzana, and again the Malaspina family, who moved here the seat of their signoria in the second half of the 15th century. Carrara and Massa formed the Duchy of Massa and Carrara from the 15th to the 19th century. Under the last Malaspina, Maria Teresa, who had married Ercole III d'Este, it became part of the Duchy of Modena.

After the short Napoleonic rule of Elisa Bonaparte, it was given back to Modena. During the unification of Italy age, Carrara was the seat of a popular revolt led by Domenico Cucchiari, and was a center of Giuseppe Mazzini's revolutionary activity.

At the end of the 19th century Carrara became the cradle of anarchism in Italy, in particular among the quarry workers. The quarry workers, including the stone carvers, had radical beliefs that set them apart from others. Ideas from outside the city began to influence the Carrarese. Anarchism and general radicalism became part of the heritage of the stone carvers. According to a Lunigiana revolt in January 1894.

In 1929, the municipalities of Carrara, Massa and Montignoso were merged in a single municipality, called Apuania. In 1945 the previous situation was restored.

Carrara is the birthplace of the International Federation of Anarchists (IFA), formed in 1968.


As a titular Duke of Modena, the current holder of the title of "Prince of Carrara" would be Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este.

Main sights

  • Cathedral (Duomo, 12th century).
  • Ducal Palace (also Palazzo Cybo Malaspina, 16th century), now the seat of the Fine Arts Academy. Built over pre-existing Lombard fortification, it dates to the reign of Guglielmo Malaspina, becoming in 1448 the permanent seat of the dynasty. It includes two distinct edifices: the Castello Malaspiniano, dating to the 13th century, and the Renaissance palace, begun by Alberico I in the late 16th century. Under the medieval loggia are exposed several ancient Roman findings.
  • Baroque church and convent of San Francesco, built in 1623–64 by order of Carlo I Cybo-Malaspina.
  • Church of the Suffragio, begun in 1686 under design of Innocenzo Bergamini, and refurbished in the 19th century. The façade has a large marble portal in Baroque style, sculpted by Carlo Finelli and surmounted by a bas-relief with the "Madonna and the Souls of the Purgatory".
  • Palazzo Cybo-Malaspina
  • Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie alla Lugnola, consecrated in 1676 and designed by Alessandro Bergamini.
  • Church of Santa Maria Assunta, at Torano. It has a 16th-century façade with a portal from 1554. The interior is on a nave and two aisles.
Façade of the Cathedral.
Palazzo Cybo Malaspina

Economy and culture

A Carrara marble quarry
Carrara marble exploitation

Carrara marble has been used since the time of Ancient Rome. The Pantheon and Trajan's Column in Rome are constructed of it, and many sculptures of the Renaissance were carved from it.

In addition to the , the city has academies of sculpture and fine arts and a museum of statuary and antiquities, and a yearly marble technology fair. The local marble is exported around the world, and marble from elsewhere is also fashioned and sculpted commercially here.

Derivation of name

Monte Sagro and nearby quarries.

The word Carrara likely comes from the pre-Roman (Celtic or Ligurian) element kar (stone), through Latin carrariae meaning 'quarries'.[3]

According to Saint Girolamo, the name Carrara derives from car meaning "wagons" and iara meaning "Moon", so is the “City of the Moon on the Wagons”.

Twin towns

Carrara is twinned with:

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ Carrara and its environs, InterScultura
  2. ^ A Stronghold of Anarchists, The New York Times, January 19, 1894
  3. ^ Repetti
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • Magazine, March 1893, pp. 273-275.The Monumental News"Carrara" (Marble), in
  • "The Carrara Marble Industry," Scientific American Supplement, May 17, 1902, pp. 22045–22046.
  • , February 1903Pearson’s Magazine“A Marble World” (Carrara, Italy), by E. St. John Hart, article in
  • Landsat 7 photograph of Carrara marble quarries in August 2001
  • Overnight in Carrara, Italy - slideshow by The New York Times
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