The beginning of June is probably the best time to visit Carrara, in facts, in this time of the year the summer climate allows to enjoy this territory to the fullest: in the same day, you can go to the beach and trek on the majestic Apuan Alps. Moreover, the city turns into an open-air museum with precious marble sculptures created in the local workshops, exhibitions and a rich calendar of cultural events known as “White Carrara Downtown” ( whitecarraradowntown.it ).
That’s why this year, we strongly suggest you visit Carrara from June 1st to 9th, to live a unique experience in one of the most fascinating territories in Tuscany, famous all over the world for its marble and its quarries.
White Carrara Downtown 2019: celebrating the city of marble
White Carrara Downtown, organized by Internazionale Marmi e Macchine Carrara spa, was born as a “diffused exhibition” (the first in Italy of this kind), the natural evolution of Marmotec, aimed at enhancing the productive, industrial, cultural and artistic potential of the Apuan stone district. The event promotes Carrara cultural identity and celebrates its millenary know how, attracting visitors from all over Italy and abroad as well as international industry players, designers, architects, who continue to be inspired by Carrara white gold. This is the perfect opportunity to get to discover the secrets of Carrara, where Michelangelo spent a total of two years, side by side with the masters of marble sculpture.
These are our top 10 suggestions to better enjoy the marble festival:
1. Just get lost in the old town of Carrara
Start from Piazza Alberica, one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, crowned by the Apuan Alps, and just get lost in the historical town of Carrara: you will be surprised at any corner by sculptures, installations, studios, Art galleries, and temporary shops. Do not miss the little Piazza delle Erbe that will come alive with an artistic performance in four moments which will reveal the history and culture of the city. You can also join a ‘Cultural Walk’, a guided tour to discover Carrara’s main monuments and hidden treasures such as the secret gardens.
2. Get inside the most beautiful historical palaces to visit international contemporary art exhibitions
Do not miss Palazzo del Medico in Alberica square with its Baroque interiors, stuccos and precious inlaid marble floors, housing the Votre contemporary art space.
3. Watch sculpture lessons en plein air
Watch ‘En Plein Air’ hand-sculpture lessons with the Carrara Academy of Fine Arts students sculpting outdoors in front of visitors. Carrara Academy of Fine Arts, founded il 1769, is one of the most ancient academies in Europe: students from all over the world come here to study the art of sculpture.
4. Visit a sculpture workshop
A visit to Carrara would not be complete without a visit to a workshop of sculpture: here is where Carrara priceless Know-How is guarded! Immerse yourself in the dreamy atmosphere of a studio whitened by marble dust, crowded with statues and ancient tools and watch sculptors at work with hammer and chisel as well as with the most advanced technologies. Find the map of all the studios and workshops at carrarastudiaperti.it but contact them first to know if and when they are open.
5. Have a 4×4 tour of Carrara marble quarries, in the most adventurous streets in the world
The 4×4 tour of Carrara marble quarries is a must do! The Alps facing the sea offer a breathtaking view, with hundreds of marble quarries that have produced more marble than any other place on earth. A landscape that attracts photographers and filmmakers from all over the world, and chosen for photo shooting by more and more international brands. There are different formulas to choose, and we recommend you to book one guided tour, as you won’t be able to visit those places with your own car. The tours include a visit to the three major marble valleys (Colonnata, Miseglia and Torano), a visit a quarry inside the mountain and the fascinating ‘Cava Museo Fantiscritti’ (Cavamuseo.com), a unique museum about the millennial story of the quarries, the marble extraction and transport. You can find the tour packages here.
6. Attend an Orchestra concert in a marble quarry
On the evening of June 8th, the Lazzareschi quarry will be the backdrop for ‘The Legend of Morricone’, a tribute to the master’s great music by the Ensemble Symphony Orchestra.
7. Attend a costume ball or an Opera at the Carrara Academy of Fine Arts
During the days of White Carrara Downtown, on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of its foundation, you will be able to visit the Carrara Academy of Fine Arts, which is at the same time a school, a monument and a museum. Do not miss the balls in Renaissance and nineteenth-century costumes.
On June 7th, 8th and 9th the Academy will also host the Opera ‘Gianni Schicchi’, by Giacomo Puccini, based on an episode of the XXX canto of Dante’s Inferno, with scenography by the Academy students.
8. Eat local food in one of the town restaurants
Taste the traditional local food inspired by Carrara marble in the restaurants of the ‘Marble is served’ circuit: try the delicious lard from Colonnata that melts in your mouth, the ‘baccalà’ (codfish) or the ‘polenta incatenata’.
9. Discover the local museums
Carrara is home to three museums: CARMI (Museum of Carrara and Michelangelo), CAP ( Plastic Arts Center) and the Museo del Marmo. Our favourite is the CARMI located in Villa Fabbricotti and immersed in a beautiful park dotted with sculptures where you can relax and cool off.
10. Pop in Everything Marble temporary shop!
Last, but not least, this year you will be able to visit EVERYTHING MARBLE temporary shop, in Piazza Alberica 10, where we will present the latest marble trends and the first collaborations with local artisans and artists! You may find the perfect gift from Carrara! Stay tuned…
Events not to be missed this summer:
What: White Carrara Downtown
Where: Carrara, Tuscany
When: 1st-9th of June 2019