The Apuan Alps region produces more than 150 commercial varieties of this beautiful Italian marble stone.
When talking about the types of Italian marble, most people think of a single variety of stone, Carrara. However, the term “Carrara marble” is inaccurate.
Often this term is used to define a wide range of different marbles (more than 150 commercial varieties) coming geographically from the Carrara area, but also from the surrounding areas in the Apuan Alps, north of Tuscany.
All these areas take the global name of Carrara Marble District, although some of them are located far from the Carrara deposits.
The types of marble originary from Italy can be divided into 7 main ones
Bianco Carrara Marble
Also called “Ordinary White”, it is characteristically homogeneous, with a background color ranging from white to pearl white, bright grains and smoke gray veins that run irregularly along the stone. Despite its name, this white Italian marble carrara is light gray in color and the different value of its main subvarieties depends substantially on the background color.
This veined marble is also called Veined White Carrara. It is the second most extracted in the Apuan Alps with a medium grain, pearl white to light grey color, with a fairly regular pattern of more or less dark grey veins. The density and intensity of the veins are usually somewhat higher than those of the Blanco Carrara. Overall, this type of marble from Italy comprises many subtypes whose aspects and structures range from a rough breccia to almost regular alternations in composition.
This fine-grained variety is characterized by its gray color, due to its abundance of cryptocrystalline pyrite. Veins are frequent, generally dark gray to black, forming locally a subvariety known as Bardiglio Veteado. This type of Italian marble is less valued from an aesthetic point of view than the whiter types, but some varieties have always been highly appreciated, such as Bardiglio Imperial.
This model of the Italian family of marble stone has a medium grained variety with a grayish white background crossed by numerous darker shades, with light gray to white veins and irregular bands that create elaborate designs. Depending on the orientation of the cut, the resulting appearance can resemble clouds, which justifies its trade name.
Kkown as a classic of Italian marble is a type of breccia sometimes similar to the Venato type, but with veins that draw authentic arabesques of different colors, on a white background mass. The fragments are mainly derived from the ordinary, veined, Nuvolato and Bardiglio types; the veins can be gray, yellowish, purplish, brownish, and tend to be interlaced.
It is probably the most appreciated and famous type of Italian marble. Its unique combination of ivory-white to light cream-yellow color, its crystalline structure, its purity and its “workability” by chisel, makes it a peculiar material for sculpture and artistic works, although it is obviously used in many other applications. The veins are either non-existent or extremely limited and of a very light gray color.
It is a type of breccia with very light yellowish white clasts, formed in a carbonate matrix rich in muscovite and chlorite, of a greener and more ochre color than the clasts themselves. Its name derives from the locality of Calacatta, where this material is mainly extracted.
There are also many other subdivisions of the Italian marble type, but this small guide will help you to choose the best stone for your home.