As we plotted our trip to Cinque Terre, I noticed that Carrara, Italy, known for the white marble quarried there since Roman times, was right along the way. This is the same area that produced the marble Michelangelo used to carve his famous ‘David.’
I thought it would be fun to stop in Carrara and pick up a piece of marble to add to the cairn in my garden. Yes, I know about the weight limits on checked baggage. But it wouldn’t have to be large. Nothing like the wheelbarrow of granite we hauled back from New England. Mary agreed and we added Carrara to our itinerary.
The further north we drove on our way to Cinque Terre, the bigger the hills became until they crossed into the category of mountains. From time to time, we’d see a peak in the distance still covered with snow.
In the moderate Tuscany climate, – where the temperatures rarely drop into the low 30s – would there even be snow on the peaks, especially in late May? It’s fair to say we were not putting two and two together on this.
As we left the Autostrada (Italian interstate) and drove closer and closer to the mountains, we came to realize that what we thought was snow was actually the marble quarries and centuries of marble dust. At the base of one mountain, with a quarry further up the side, it was easy enough to pull over, hop out of the car and grab pieces of marble to add to my collection.
I don’t know which quarry produced ‘David,’ but it may have been the very quarry that produced the stones I picked up. Wouldn’t that be cool?