Best Italian Marble

Best Italian Marble types
Giuseppe Danieli with one of his recent marble decorations

Marble types (or varieties of marble) have received different names since ancient times.

The use of marble, typical of the classical period (think of Greek and Roman architecture), is still contemporary. The veining, the fineness of the colours and its exclusive splendour make it one of the most widely used materials for the covering of all types of surfaces; in particular, it is helpful to remember that it is often used in refined and refined habitats, in public and private representative rooms such as villas, hotels, flats, luxury residences.

Marble, like granite, is part of a subdivision that includes all natural stones but is at the same time unconnected to it. It is a more appreciated typology with peculiar characteristics that make it unique.

Marble types: classification by composition

According to its composition, we can make a first macro-classification of the types of marble available in nature:

– crystalline limestone marbles

Generally composed of large crystals, they are pure, i.e. without fossils. They are divided into saccharides, spatics, alabasters and travertine. They can be in production both in white and in colour. 
Suckaroid marbles are so called because they have a crystallised sugar appearance and have crystals due to precipitation by over-saturation of the solutions; alabaster marbles have a stalactite origin and have a compact, translucent, reddish or brown appearance originating from water deposits in cavities. Finally, the whitish or yellow-brown travertine marbles, often with vegetal imprints, originate from a process that determines the porous and vacuous structure typical of this stone.

– cryptocrystalline calcareous marbles

They are characterised by a less marked crystalline structure than the previous marbles and by the presence of ancient fossil forms that are generally very colourful (e.g. Verona marble, red and yellow, Trento marble, the Botticino of the Brescia area, used in the Altar of the Fatherland and the sacellum of the Unknown Soldier, and the stones of the Karst);

– clastic marbles

They can be found in the accumulations of small parts of rocks, cemented fossils, and calcareous or siliceous materials. Think, for example, of the marble of the Lucca area, such as those of Serravezza, in the Pietrasanta area.

Examples can also be found in Florence (Duomo, Palazzo Pitti, obelisk in Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Fontana del Nettuno).
This type of marble is also known as the “Breccia Medicea” (or “breccia di Seravezza”), as it was widely used under Cosimo I de’ Medici. It can have veins from purple to light green, with yellow, red, and grey spots of very varied dimensions.

– serpentine marbles

They are also called “green marbles of Prato”. They take their name from a siliceous stone called serpentine mixed with limestone. Sometimes they can take on darker shades of colour, closer to yellow or blue.

Italian marbles are among the most sought-after and luxurious worldwide. Among the best-known examples are Botticino marble, Carrara marble, Calacatta marble, Siena marble, red Verona marble and Lasa marble (white or veined, from the Covelano area in Alto Adige).

Types of precious marble

Besides the famous Carrara marble, another type of precious marble is the pearl of Sicily (also called “Botticino di Sicilia”). With its light ivory colour and warm brown veins, some coverings with this type of marble can be found in St. Peter’s Basilica, in the Royal Palace of Caserta and the New Central Station of Milan. Its extraction occurs in the area of Custonaci, in the Trapani area.

Other valuable Italian marbles are Candoglia marble (pinkish, some examples can be found in the Cathedral of Milan), travertine (the famous “marble of Rome”, beige in colour, is present in many monuments of the Capitoline city, among which the famous Colosseum).

Types of white marble

There are many white marbles of great value on the market. Below, we give an exhaustive overview.

Carrara Marble
The famous white marble has a clean appearance with its grey shades. It can be identified by observing the type of veining in contrast to the white/light grey background, as it is typically thin. Some of the best uses of this marble include false ceilings, risers, fireplaces, and every part of the house to make it more “aristocratic”.

White Carrara marble
One of the most classic Carrara marbles, certainly the best known. Its main characteristic is the very small presence of impurities. It is, among the purest in the world, with a percentage of calcium carbonate that can reach 90%.

Carrara Arabesque
Like Venato, the veins form natural arabesque themes on a white background.

Bardiglio of Carrara
A grey colour characterises it due to the impurity of the rock.

Carrara onion serbino di Carrara
The Cipollino is so called because it is characterised by marked grey/greenish streaks that recall the internal structure of an onion. Most of this marble is found in the Apuan marble basins.

Carrara statuary marble
It is the most precious marble, used since the Romans for its white/ivory colour and crystalline structure, making it perfect for working with a chisel. It is not easy to find ad hoc deposits because they are precious and used in significant quantities to realise sculptures.

White marble of Calacatta
This marble comes from a quarry in Carrara, making it one of the most precious and favourite. More dramatic in appearance, it takes on a warm, white tone and contains a mixture of beige/gold and grey veins that vary in size. Calacatta marble is typically used for kitchen or bathroom worktops, fireplace coverings, large tiled floors, slabs and risers.

Calacatta statuary marble
The statuary marble contains the subtle grey shades in Carrara marble and the similar grey veins of the Calacatta slabs.
This stone is very bright white, a characteristic that makes it very precious. It is perfect for carving statues and is highly sought after for residential and commercial projects. Excellent to be used for tiles, false ceilings or wall panels.

Botticino Classico Marble
Typical of the Brescia area is the most precious for its chromatic effects, structure, compactness and resistance.
Because of these characteristics, it can be used for indoor and outdoor works, as demonstrated by the various and prestigious architectural achievements in every part of the world, from Roman times to the present day.

Arabescato Orobico Rosso
It’s a historic red-veined marble from Italy. The colour of this very particular marble can vary from red to light grey. For its brilliance and lucidity, it is a marble that is well-suited for interior decoration and is also used successfully in outdoor environments. It can be used in all “sauces”: raw, sandblasted, brushed, striped and polished.