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 (pronounced cah-vey), 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 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 a much higher point than you are allowed to drive to on your own.
Your guide will explain the history and uses of marble, the different types of marble, and how the quarries operate. You'll see a working section of the mine, as well as the site where several Austin Martin's went over the cliff during the filming of the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.
The interesting and scenic 50-minute tour is offered daily from March to November and is priced at 12 euros (as of 2019). A 3-4 hour option includes pick-up and drop-off from your nearby hotel, time to tour the town of Carrara, plus a special breakfast of local specialties, including lardo di Colonnata, which is seasoned pork fat. This tour is currently priced at 65 euros per person.
Carrara Marble Tour Details
- Cave di Fantiscritti Carrara Marble Tour. Check the website for updated hours and prices or to book a tour.
- The cost is 12 euros (as of 2019).
- Tours are 50 minutes and can be taken in Italian, English, or French.
- Note that during inclement weather, the mines are not in operation.
- At the parking area of the quarry are a museum, gift shop, restaurant, and restrooms. In summer, there are mini-bus tours inside the mines.
- From Carrara, follow signs for Cave and then Fantiscritti, going through a couple of marble tunnels.
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.