The Fosdinovo Castle and Carrara’s quarries

STARTING CITY: Firenze, Livorno, Lucca, Pisa


After meeting, we’ll soon leave for the Castle of Fosdinovo.
The castle, once in the feudal domain of a branch of the Malaspina family, is of remarkable historical and architectural importance. This imposing fortress perfectly merges with the rock, so that it seems to be carved out of the surrounding stones and crags. Building began in the second half of the twelfth century. Over the centuries, the Malaspina richly transformed the interior with paintings and sculptures that one can admire to the present day.
The Fosdinovo Castle captures as none other the image everyone has in mind while thinking of a medieval castle. A powerful location, making it visible from every cardinal point, the strong battlements and very high towers, pompous inner rooms, and even a ghost! According to those who swear they have seen it, it would be the ghost of a young noblewoman, Bianca, guilty of falling in love with a stable boy and, because of this, walled up alive in a cell together with a dog, symbol of fidelity, and a wild boar, an emblem of rebellion. Some claim this killed the young girl, but her spirit was never subdued and still haunts the rooms at night, in the form of a long haired lady.
The Carrara territory, at the foot of the beautifully rugged Alpi Apuane, abounds in pits and marble quarries. In the afternoon we’ll visit a quarry with an expert guide. This fascinating experience is like entering the very bowels of the earth through one of the huge white wounds opening in the steep mountainside. In the distance, one can see tiny men moving giant blocks of white stone. Over two thousand years, by this often dramatic interaction of natural forces and human work it has been possible to build royal palaces and private mansions, and carve the best works of art, everywhere in the world. You will be able not only to understand not only quarrying techniques in their development, but also the history of a region and its people.
After these guided tours, we’ll visit the small “borgo” of Colonnata, home to the famous Colonnata lard, a tasty bacon fat seasoned in marble basins. We’ll lunch and enjoy old typical recipes and wines in the quiet atmosphere of an isolated village at the foot of the breath-taking Alpi Apuane

Return late in the afternoon to the city chosen for the start.