The famous Carrara marble is represented by a wide range of qualities, different from each other according to their chromatic and structural characteristics. Generally, they can be grouped into seven main varieties: the White, the Statuario, the Venato, the Arabescato, the Calacatta, the Bardiglio and the Cipollino. These types of Carrara marble are produced by the Zona Mossa quarry and the Poggio Silvestre quarry.
The White is the most classic and famous type of Carrara marble: its peculiarity is that it contains only a very limited amount of impurities, represented by microcrystalline pyrite, which does not alter the natural color of calcite.
The Statuario is the most valuable type of marble, since the Romans it has been used in sculpture for its ivory white color and the very special texture crystalline, which is perfectly suited to the work of the chisel. It is a very rare material, and most of the deposits that in the past have provided this type of marble, today are empty.
The Venato is a common marble, whose peculiarity is given by the gray veins that cross the paste of the base, whose coloration can vary from white to light grayish.
Arabescato has gray veins that, unlike the previous one, draw on the background paste a continuous pattern, like an arabesque, hence the name of the rock derives.
Calacatta has creamy yellow veins, on a background paste that can vary from white to ivory. The coloration of the veins is due to the presence, in the texture of the rock, of very small crystals of white mica or muscovite. Like Bianco, Calacatta is considered an extremely precious marble, whose availability is rather limited.
The Paonazzo variant is an extremely valuable marble; its peculiarity lies in the fine-grained lithotype of ivory color, sometimes towards beige and purplish red. The veins mark the material in a discontinuous and irregular way, with shades that vary from black to purple. The material is further coloured by more yellowish areas, caused by the presence of limonitic oxides and hematite.
Bardiglio is composed of a grey coloured paste. This coloration is given by the widespread presence, in the texture of the rock, of impurities, that is very fine crystals of pyrite. This type of marble is mainly used for the creation of precious floors and coverings, especially for domestic use thanks to its resistance to atmospheric agents.
Cipollino marble owes its name to the characteristic marked greenish-gray streaks that recall the internal structure of an onion. Most of the deposits of Cipollino are found in the Apuan marble basins, while only the Zerbino variant is found in those of Carrara.