Originally commissioned for Peloton magazine .
For a land of lush green hills and blazing blue skies, the color white is surprisingly significant. In Tuscany we ride on or skitter across, the strade bianche . White dust blooms under our wheels. And at Carrara, a hundred kilometers north of Florence, white has for centuries been symbolic. Fantiscritti Quarry. Carrara. Tuscany. Italy. (Photo by: Claudio Ciabochi/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images) Carrara sits on the Tuscan coast, a sleepy enough seaside town. Look inland, however, and you will be confronted with the Apuan Alps, a range of jagged white and grey peaks that look more like Mordor than Italy. Venture up into these hills to find a strange landscape. Huge chunks have been gouged out of the mountains; these are the Carrara marble quarries. Marble has been extracted here since Roman times. Used for buildings, monuments, and sculptures, Carrara marble is a valuable commodity, prized for its purity. There are three major open-air quarry sites, each with constantly changing terraces of stone. Nearby tunnels lead to enormous underground quarries, as big as cathedrals.
Carrara marble has been used by builders and artists since Ancient Rome. The Pantheon in Rome is constructed of it. Michelangelo came to the quarries to personally pick his material for his five meters tall masterpiece David, now residing in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence.
Five centuries after the original David was fashioned, Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra traveled to Italy to pay his own tribute to Michelangelo’s work. Kobra […]
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