Carrara is the world’s capital of the marble trade and working and owes its name (from the ligurian stem KAR=stone) to the stone that has made it famous all over the world.The ancient centre boasts of valuable monuments as the Cathedral ( 11-14Th century) with its romanic gothic facade and the precious rose –window; inside there are : a wooden Crucifix(14Th century), two statues , the “Casanelle” the Virgin and the Herald Angel (15Th century), the pulpit( 16Th century) and the statues of the High Altar. In Piazza Duomo there are: the marble belltower, the fountain of the “Giant” and the house where Michelangelo stayed.
Other interesting monuments are: the house of the Academy of Fine Arts, with the ancient castle and the renaissance palace, the Casa Repetti (13th century) the characteristic Piazza Alberica, considered one of the finest Piazza of the 16Th century, The Santuario delle Grazie (17Th century) with its precious inside decorations.
In Piazza Matteotti there are two important sculptures: the copy of the P.Tacca’s “Porcellino” and the A. Dazzi’s “Cavallino”. Along the Avenue XX Settembre you can see some traces of this city’s ancient history. In Avenza there is the Castruccio Castrani’s Tower, the only one now standing of the 1300 fortress, on the hill above Fossola you can see the remains of the Castle of Moneta which dates back to the 1235. In Fossola it is well worth stopping to visit the Marble Museum, with its six sections displaying the history of the marble, its excavation, working methods and use. The excavation of the marble dates back to the Roman domain . Thanks to the marble this town developed , not by chance , at the entrance of the valleys which contain the main marble quarries of the all Apuan region.
The Church of Sant’Andrea , elegant romanic cathedral, has been the religious and administrative centre of the zone all over the Middle Age and today is still one of the most important monument of the city. From the half of the 14Th century , the destiny of Carrara is strictly linked to the Massa one, in a relationship which often carried to a fraternal conflict .Carrara was in fact an integrative part of the Malaspina marquisate and of the Cybo dukedom.
The current Palace of the Academy of Fine Arts was the ancient residence of the Cybo’s family and the most representative place of the town. Piazza Alberica owes its name not only to the 16Th century buildings which surround it, but also the sign of the domain of the most important representative of the local Cybo ‘s branch, Alberico I who gave life to the foundation of the modern town.