Under the quarryman’s sky
Davide Bruni, expert connoisseur of the Apuan Alps and founder of Carrara Marble Tour, suggests itineraries not to be missed
What kind of tours do you offer?
Tours on four-wheel-drive Jeeps to explore the Carrara marble quarries and learn about the hard work it takes to quarry the marble. As soon as we arrive at the N.83 Canalgrande-alto quarry, at a height of about 1,000 meters, we take off on a guided tour with breathtaking view over the quarries, the sea, Portovenere, the Cinque Terre’s mountain chain and the Gulf of La Spezia. And we go down scenic roads used in the James Bond Quantum of Solace movie and famous commercials.
What attracts you the most to these places?
The human being’s ability to quarry marble, a very difficult job that takes blood and sweat, and then use it to create amazing artistic and architectural works, bound to last forever. What we are always asked at the end of the tour is: “How did they manage in ancient times?”, and it is actually something truly astonishing.
The best time of the day for a tour?
In the morning, when they are all working, it is an adventurous, fascinating and formative experience, whereas the hours approaching sunset are for those in search of inspiration.
The must-try tour for trekking lovers?
Via Vandelli, the first great arterial route after those built by the Romans, which connects Modena, Lucca and Massa Carrara, offering beautiful views and the tour of wonderful villages and churches.
The most charming village?
Colonnata. A very ancient village, dating back to at least 40 B.C., when slaves lived there to quarry the marble needed to build columns in Rome, which probably explains the name’s origin. The famous Lard of Colonnata is a must-try.