The famous marble of Carrara has been quarried since Roman times and has long been a favorite of sculptors, including Michelangelo. Fantiscritti Marble Quarries, or cave, has a 50 minute 4x4 jeep tour that gives visitors a chance to get an inside look at the quarries and also includes a fantastic view from high above them.
If you're in the Carrara area of northern Tuscany, don't miss this experience.
Inside the Marble Mines of Carrara
Carrara Marble Jeep Tour takes you on a fascinating ride through the quarries for a close look at the marble cliffs and mines. Near the top, you'll get out and enjoy a spectacular view of the quarries, the city of Carrara, and the coast. This is much higher than you are allowed to drive on your own.
Our guide explained the history and uses of marble, the different types of marble, and how the quarries operate. At the second stop we had great views of the mountains to the east and as we looked down to see a working mine it was like looking at a miniature site since we were so far above it. On the ride back down we saw the site where several Austin Martin's went over the cliff during the filming of the James Bond movie, Quantum Solace.
The interesting and scenic tour is well worth the price of 10 euros (price as of 2017).
Carrara Marble Tour Details
- Name: Cave di Fantiscritti Carrara Marble Tour. Check the website for updated hours and prices or to book a tour (prenotazioni).
- The cost is 10 euros (as of 2017).
- Tours are 50 minutes and can be taken in Italian, English, or French.
- Note that during inclement weather, the mines are not in operation.
- For an additional price, you can taste the Quarryman Breakfast including Lardo of Colonnata, bread, and a glass of wine.
- Also, at the tour start parking area are a museum, gift shop, restaurant, and restrooms and in the summer, there's a mini-bus tour inside the mines.
- From Carrara, follow signs for Cave and then Fantiscritti, going through a couple of marble tunnels.
For a map and more details, see Carrara Marble Quarries Tour Map
If you have a car, it's possible to see some of the mining areas and visit the museum without taking a tour, although the tour is a highly recommended way to see the quarries close-up and is worth the price just for the amazing views.
Sightseeing Near the Carrara Marble Quarries
Very near the marble quarries is the picturesque mining town of Colonnata, famous for producing lardo. Colonnata is a good place to eat with several restaurant choices.
Carrara is in the part of northern Tuscany known as Versilia that includes the three main towns of Carrara, Massa, and Pietrasanta and a long stretch of coast where you'll find beaches and the seaside resort town of Viareggio, famous for its carnival parades.
We visited the marble quarries with Serena Giovannoni who gives personalized tours of the area through her company Wishversilia.She also took us to the town of Colonnata, where we had lunch and visited a lardo workshop, and to see artist studios in Pietrasanta. If you're looking for a Tuscany tour that takes you off the beaten path, Wishversilia is a good choice.
Read about Serena and Wishversilia.