Natural stone, and especially marble, are the top choices of materials in design, art and architecture.
Always unique, available in many versions and resistant, marble is used to create projects and objects all over the world. We often hear it said that Italian marble is among the bests. How did it earn this fame? And is it even true?
Why Italian marble is considered among the best in the world
Several reasons have led Italian marble to be considered among the best in the world.
From a historical point of view, marble was the most widely used material by Renaissance artists: sculptors like Michelangelo and Donatello – to mention a few – created masterpieces of eternal beauty with Carrara marble or Statuario marble. Consequently, even in the rest of the world, and over the centuries, Italian marble has been used in the making of works of art, design and architecture.
This tradition has been existing all the way to modern times. Italians are considered masters of marble extraction and processing up to this day. They have access to the best machinery and chemicals to process blocks and – possibly the most important thing – have developed the know-how to select the best blocks from quarries all over the world and ship them back to Italy, where they are processed.
On top of that, some types of marble, such as Carrara and Calacatta Gold marble, are extracted only in specific areas of Italy. Italian marble has then become synonymous with luxury, quality and elegance, and is seen as a “status symbol” for interiors in houses, hotels and shops all over the world.
The association of marble with the idea of “luxury” is not random. It is the result of the premium quality of Italian marble and its refinement, which makes it extremely prestigious. If you opt for Italian marble, you make a long-term investment.
The most famous Italian marbles
The types of marble are different for color, veins, and finishes, and these features change according to the area where a block comes from. Here are the most famous and appreciated Italian variants:
- Calacatta marble: it comes from the mountains around Carrara, as well as Versilia and Garfagnana. It is a fine-grained marble, with a milk white background and more or less marked veins ranging from grey to black. It is widely used for interiors and furniture. It is Gold version is possibly the most famous and requested at the moment.
- Carrara marble: the most famous type, with a “dirty” white background, and light gray veins. This finds wide use in interior design as well as, as history teaches, in sculpture.
- Travertine marble: it has been extracted since Etruscan civilization in Tuscany and Lazio (not by chance, it was used by the Romans to make, for example, the Colosseum). Very famous also in construction, it has many shades ranging from white to walnut, from yellow to red, and it is used both for classic and creative purposes.
- Red Verona Marble: considered the best red marble, it is extracted in the area of Verona and is characterized by a deep red color, with nodules of an ellipsoidal shape in beige or ivory. It is used for floors, stairs, interiors, columns, fireplaces and sculptures. If you happen to visit Verona, you will be stunned to see this marble everywhere, even as street pavings in the city centre.
The most famous countries when it comes to marble
Italy is one of the countries that export the majority of marble in the world and it is considered of the highest quality. Then we find Turkey (where there are numerous travertine and marble quarries), Greece (from which variants such as Volakas and Thassos are extracted), Iran (where we find several colourful onyx), Spain (famous for the Emperador marble and Crema Marfil) and Brazil (home of the most exotic and colourful marble and quartzite).