Though marble is quarried in many countries, it is closely identified with Italy, where marble formations are spread throughout the land. Italy has many of the finest marbles in the world, having stood the test of time in some of the most famous places in the world. For centuries, Italian marble been transformed into stunning works of art by the world’s most-famous artists, architects and designers, and the demand for Italian marble is high around the globe. Marble stones can be found in different geographical areas and in different countries, so what makes Italian marble so special?
Italian marble has earned its reputation primarily because the quarries in Italy have access to some of the best raw material in the world. Italian quarries also have the highest standards for quality control – everything from selecting and cutting the blocks to packaging and shipping is done with precision. Italian know-how in stone processing and production of new manufacturing technologies, as well as in innovation and design, is the added value that makes Italian marble competitive all over the world today.
The most desirable Italian marble varieties are Carrara, Calacatta and Statuario. To the untrained eye, these stones may all look like the same type of white marble. To confuse matters even more, Calacatta is quarried in Carrara, Italy. Here is nutshell description of the three types of marble:
Carrara marble is grayish-white and the veining is smaller and finer. Although Cararra can have have some large and dramatic veining like Calacatta, it will also has many fine feathery lines.
Calacatta marble is a rarer than Carrara and is more white than gray. Large, dramatic veining is a trademark of Calacatta and the patterns tend to be bigger and bolder than Carrara. While Calacatta is defined by the whiteness of its background, it can have brown and gold undertones.
Statuario (or Statuary) is the most precious marble variety found in Italy. It contains the subtle gray hues found in Carrara with similar gray veining that you’ll find in Calacatta slabs. This stone is a very bright white in color, also making it the white marble par excellence and incredibly valuable. While Statuario is haled in Italy for being the perfect marble for carving statues, it is also a highly sought after material for residential and commercial projects.