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Inside Italy’s $1 billion mountains that produce more tons of marble than anywhere else on Earth

  • A slab of Carrara marble can cost up to $400 per square meter.
  • The luxury stone comes the Apuan Alps, a mountain range in northern Tuscany that stretches for 58 km and reaches 2,000 meters high.
  • The Carrara quarries have produced more marble than any other place on Earth.
  • The market as a whole is worth over $1.1 billion and produces 4 million tons of marble every year, with 13,000 people involved.

Carrara marble is one of the most prestigious marbles in the world. A slab can cost up to $400 per square meter, and over history, it has been used for some remarkable buildings. Think of the Pantheon in Rome or Michelagelo's iconic statue, David. The luxury stone comes the Apuan Alps, a mountain range in northern Tuscany that stretches for 58 km and reaches 2,000 meters high.

Marble has been carved here since the Ancient Roman times, and because of its millennial history, the Carrara quarries have produced more marble than any other place on Earth. The market as a whole is worth over €1 billion ($1.1 billion) and produces 4 million tons of marble every year, with 13,000 people involved. The quarries were even featured in a James Bond movie, with Daniel Craig driving an Aston Martin DBS up the marble slopes.

We visited two quarries: Cava Querciola, number 147, and Cava Fiordichiara, number 76, which is a cave inside a mountain. Marble extraction in Carrara is done with a 5-millimeter diamond wire or with big chainsaws.See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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SEE ALSO: Inside Europe's biggest caviar farm that produces 28 tons per year

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