Famous for its white and blue-grey marble, the Carrara Marble Quarry has contributed to iconic structures such as the Pantheon and Trajan's Column in Rome, as well as a variety of Renaissance sculptures including Michelangelo's David.
Sitting on the Carrione River, the quarry is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Florence and was named for the nearby city of Carrara in Italy's Tuscany region. More than 600 other mine sites sit in the Alpuan Alps above the city, about half of which are either abandoned or emptied of marble, given that they have produced more marble than any other place in the world.
A 4x4 jeep tour can take travelers up to the highest mines in the quarry, with the first stop being in Colonnata, an ancient village at 1,700 feet (532 meters) that is home to some of the most impressive marble quarries and magnificent views of the surrounding area. Next is the central quarry at Fantiscritti, which offers more great views and a small museum, while the final quarry is Torano. Note that all of the quarries can only be visited externally.
Carrara is about an hour and a half from Florence by car or two hours by train.