Here is a list of the main commercial names used for the types of marble in the Apuan-Versilia area.

With its load of history, today enriched by technology and sustainability, marble is also culture, a world to be preserved and enhanced, a task for all the players in the supply chain, for every designer.

In this occasion we will talk about the marble of the Apuan Alps, there are different types, each unique for its characteristics.

In this occasion we will talk about the marble of the Apuan Alps, there are different types, each unique for its characteristics.

In the context of the Versilia marble trade, it is interesting to describe the history and curiosities about the different names that, especially in the past (before the need for regulatory obligations and technical recommendations), led to commercial choices without relevance to the place of origin, petrographic identification data.

This gave rise to curious names that we will tell you about in this brief review.
For each type there is also a link to the marble sheet.

We would like to thank Sergio Mancini for the creation of this handbook.

ARABESQUE MARBLE

A fine variety of crystalline white marble with dark grey veins, also known as “arabeschi” (arabesques). It is very similar to veined marble and is an additional type compared to the precious Statuario and Calacatta.

In addition to the internationally well-known Arabescato del Corchia and Cervaiole, minor or rare productions in the past have also been made for materials from different geological formations such as the Breccia Rio Serra (marble-dolomite breccia) of the Cava Mossa on the side of Monte Altissimo. In Versilia, denominations from the quarries of origin (Arabescato Tombaccio, Arabescato Faniello and Bozzo, Arabescato Collettino) have been correctly used, especially in the Arni area.

Arabescato Vagli White with grey veins
Arabescato Corchia White with grey/blue veins

WHITE MARBLE

Various names of many types of marble quarried in Versilia in the category of “Marmi Bianchi” (White marble) can be found in Pieri’s classic books (1960) or in the Ertag and ICE catalogues of 1980-1982 and almost always the denomination respected the geographical location of the quarries of origin (Bianco Poggio della Neve, Bianco Polla, Bianco Piastrone, Bianco Vestito, Bianco Tre Fiumi, Bianco Porracci, Bianco Buca).
In this product variety, the marble of Trambisera, Bianco San Nicola, is still identified today, which today has been commercially identified in marble with shades more similar to Bardiglio or veined-cloudy marble.
In general, in Versilia there was no extensive use of varieties classified on the basis of clarity indices once obtained from light tests such as with lux meters and in any case in classes C, C/D, D, D/E, building and current normally used in Carrara.
In some quarries of Massa and Versilia, the term Bronzino was also used.

Bianco Carrara CD White
Bianco Carrara C White
White Carrara Extra White
White Michelangelo White

WHITE VEINED MARBLE

In Versilia these terminologies were used and are still in use for those materials that are no longer uniformly white or with irregular punctuations or veins, but with a greater gray background or actual veins.
Denominations that are always indicative of the quarries of origin have been found for the Venato del Togno (Campanice quarries) or in the case of the Piastraccia di Arni, with a tendency to intermediate types with arabesque marble through thinly intertwined veins. Particular cases of veined marble in the past were for materials derived from strong deformation such as Striato Giardino, with parallel grey veins or Venato Crocicchio in the Arni area.

BRECCE DI SERAVEZZA

In the Versilia area, the land of choice for the varied-coloured breccias extracted since the sixteenth century, there was a large number of denominations that are still used both for quarries of origin and for the colours such as Breccia Arlecchina, Breccia Gialla-Viola, Breccia Montalto, Breccia Medicea, Breccia Violetta or Smyrna, Skyros d’Italia. Often denominations without indications of origin were also used, such as Breccia Fantasia, Fior del Poggio, Alga Marina, and one of the main ones still in use is Fior di Pesco.
The historical distinctions for the breccias of Seravezza were once made between the materials of the same name and the so-called “mischi” (Mischio di Petarocchia) which also contained levels of polychrome dolomite in the marble mass that enriched the colouring and design. Other names that now belong to the historical marble are those of the “persichini”.

Breccia Antica breccia antica Purple with white, purple and green

Calacatta Viola / Breccia viola White with purple/purple veins

MARMI GRIGI (BARDIGLI)

In historical Versilia the use of particular terms for the name of the Bardiglio marble was linked to the period of strong French commercial interest from the beginning of the nineteenth century, with the terms “Bleu Turquin” (Bardiglio Costa, Bardiglio Cappella) and “Bleu Fleuri” (Bardiglio Fiorito and Bardiglio Tigrato) for the marble extracted from the quarries of Monte Costa, La Cappella and Monte Alto near Retignano. Also in the case of the lighter Bardiglio marble tending to blue (Bardiglietto) the term Grigio Cielo (Sky Grey) was also used. In more recent times, veined-brecciated varieties of the marble-dolomite type have become established, such as the Grigio Versylis from the Cervaiole quarries.

Bardiglio Imperiale Grey

Bardiglio Nuvolato Grey with lighter veins

CALACATTA

Introduced in recent years, the Calacatta denomination has also found in the past, at a commercial level, types of materials belonging to older geological formations such as the Brecce di Seravezza, given the prevalent character of brecciated-arabesque marble of various colours of the matrix. Examples can be found for the Calacatta Grotte Bianche in the Volegno quarries and for the Calacatta Tova in the Bozzo quarries near Arni. Also for these materials there was a correct prevalence of attribution to the quarries of origin. Other examples of marble with a typical appearance are the Calacatta Castellina di Arni, currently quarried in the basin of the Canale delle Gobbie. New commercial names have also appeared for the brecciated marble of Cervaiole.

Calacatta Vagli White with grey, brown, pink and golden veins

Calacatta Vagli Oro Extra White with golden veins

Calacatta Borghini White with golden and grey veins

Calacatta Luccicoso White with fine veins

Calacatta Cremo White, Cream, Grey

Calacatta Monet White with grey, brown, pink and golden veins

 

STATUARIO

Together with Calacatta, Statuario is one of the most precious and unique types of marble in the world. However, they do have differences.

With a great aesthetic charge, the Statuario is a monochromatic, it has a bright white background, close to the shade of ice white. It is enriched by grey veins, few consistent ones.

Calacatta, on the other hand, has a creamier background, has a wider range of shades and larger, denser veins than Statuario.

Statuario Michelangelo White

 

Statuario White with grey veins

 

Statuarietto White with grey veins

 

ROSSO RUBINO

In the case of the few quarries of the red limestone of Verrucano in the area of Ponte Stazzemese, there have been several and varied denominations, all without connection with the area of origin, such as Rosso Rubino Imperiale, Breccia Acqua Santa, Rosso Apache, Rosa Brecciata.

 

PIETRA DEL CARDOSO E ARDESIA APUANA

The quarrying industry of Pietra del Cardoso, especially in the early post-war years, has allowed very curious names in catalogues (mesozoidite grigio-azzurra – blue-grey mesozoidite) and then remained at the level of subdivisions of varieties in the Stone (macchia, scuro, dark) or in a division between the most recent major places of extraction (Pietra di Stazzema). The extraction industry of Apuan Slate, levels of good quality dark slates from the quarries of Casalina near Cardoso or Pomezzana, has been completely abandoned over time.

 

Cardoso Grey with white quartz veins

CALCESCISTI E CIPOLLINO

Especially in the past, during the phase of commercial discovery in the 70s and 80s of the last century, some of the names of these lithotypes indicated only a generic belonging to similar types (Cremo Tirreno, lime from the quarries of Isola Santa) or also names completely unrelated to an origin of deformation of the place of origin followed (Cipollino Luana, from the Boana quarry in Vagli di Sotto, today Cipollino Ondulato). Some names, including lithotypes, were used to connect the lithotypes of Cipollino with other similar varieties present in Carrara (Zebrino, otherwise called Cipollino ‘900 or Cipollino Vara) or Arni (Cipollino Fantastico).
Other names of the past were Cipollino Verde Italiano or del Cardoso, Cipollino Rosso Sumbra, Cipollino Verde Arni as well as some denominations attributed to historic stones for slabs and coatings such as Pietra Bianca di Volegno.

Cipollino Ondulato Green, Purple, Yellow, White