We were picked up at Anthony & Lyn’s apartment at 10:30, ready for adventure.  The drive to Carrara in our Mercedes van was just a bit over an hour, to the north and up the coast.  Ferdinando, our driver, pointed out things along the way until we arrived at the Fantiscritti Quarry. This is where Michelangelo got his marble for the Pieta and for the David. We had about a half hour to wait for our tour inside the mountain so we checked out the little outdoor museum and had a coffee in the bar right there.

img_2730

We had to all wear hard hats and day glo vests and it was cold, wet and everything was some shade of gray inside the mountain.

img_2732

 

 

 

We were, according to the guide, 400 meters above sea level and 400 meters below the top of the mountain, 400 meters inside, too, so in the heart of the mountain.  She explained how they cut the huge marble blocks now and that the pure white is the most expensive.  And she showed us around.

img_2737 The scale really doesn’t translate in the photos.  There is a coating of marble dust everywhere .  They actually use the marble dust to make fake marble and put it into tooth paste and other products.

She showed us where a piece had fallen off a wall to miraculously reveal an image of the madonna and child.

img_2752

After the official tour, we drove around the mountain and through the tunnels.

img_2758

These are just waste used for building walls and such on the roads.

img_2754

 The roads are  where the trains used to run.  Now they use trucks to move the huge blocks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

img_2756

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next stop: Pietrasanta for a fabulous lunch at Da Fillipo where we really ate well!  The frittura (mixed fried fish) was fabulous as was the simple ravioli, with a bit of nutmeg with butter and cheese.  I drank Franciacorta which was perfect with the food.  Some of the others had a chicken dish which reminded me of Chicken Marbella.

We had a nice stroll through Pietrsanta which seemed very hip and arty.  There were a bunch of interesting modern sculptures in the piazza and around the town.

one of many

one of many

Ferdinando took us to a workshop where they were working of marble statues but no photos allowed there.  And then we drove through the beach towns including Viareggio.  Heading back to Lucca, we made one last stop at a Lake where Puccini’s house is located.

I could not believe we had the energy to go out again, but Rosi and I met Anthony for wine and a bit of food near Piazza Napolean.  We talked politics with a British couple who were completely willing to make fun of Trump, but one of them had voted for Brexit and was not the least bit embarrassed by it.

We are all taken by the fact that we are here, together.  It is a fantasy and it’s normal all in the same moment.  But mostly, it’s just plain fun!


Comments

Carrara Tour — 1 Comment