Carrara is well known worldwide for its marble. A characteristic white marble used since the roman age, and made famous by the great masters of the renaissance. Carrara marble quarries today continue their mining activities and are also become one of the major tourist destinations in the area. The historic centre of Carrara is less famous but still interesting. Today we suggest a brief itinerary to discover the treasures of the world capital of marble.
Things to do in Carrara: tour in the historic centre of Carrara
Accademia di Belle Arti
Our tour begin in the central via Roma where is the Accademia di Belle Arti (Academy of fine arts). The museum is hosted inside a historic residence of the family Cybo Malaspina, lords of Carrara, that incorporates the previous medieval castle.
The Academy preserves an interesting archaeological collection with many sculptures. Among these, the edicola di Fantiscritti, a bas-relief dated the beginning of the third century after Christ, that depict Hercules, Jupiter and Bacchus. A curiosity is that many illustrious artists have made their signatures on this artwork. Among these we can read the names of Michelangelo, Giambologna and Canova. This testifies that these masters went to the quarry where was the edicola.
In addition to archaeological collection can be visited many rooms of the Palace containing various fine artworks and also a plaster casts gallery.
Opening hours: only by appointment
The Duomo of Carrara
From the Academy take via Verdi and cross the elegant piazza dell’accademia to get to via Santa Maria. This is a characteristic medieval street that leads us to piazza del Duomo.
The Duomo di Carrara (cathedral) was started in the eleventh century but was completed only three centuries later. Entirely covered by marble, of course (we’re in Carrara or not?), the church is romanesque in the bottom and gothic at the top. The masonry alternates the classic white marble with bands of gray marble.
The facade ha a beautiful portal adorned with carvings that depict zoomorphic figures. At the top makes a fine show a large rose window flanked by two series of columns.
The interior is simple and austere. The church has some fine artworks as the Annunciation, the pulpit and the painted cross suspended on the main altar.
Resuming our walk through the streets of the historical centre, take via Ghibellina and reach Piazza Alberica. A large and beautiful square embellished with marble pavements and nice buildings as Palazzo delle Logge and the Palazzo dei conti del Medico. This square is the last è la stage of our tour. Here, you can relax with a drink or an ice-cream at the end of the visit to the historical centre of Carrara.