Calc Tufe or Tufo Leccese or Carparo

Carparo or Calc Tufe or Tufo in Italian is a calcareous Salento stone – Salento is the most Southern part of Apulia (Puglia) region, in Italy. Its granular appearance derives from the cementation of calcareous rock sediments in a marine environment.

Unlike Lecce stone or Soleto stone, Carparo is extracted in the coastal areas of Salento.

First of all, the city of Gallipoli, where there are the oldest and largest Carparo quarries, but above all, from which the most valuable quality comes.

The carparo leccese is formed by various materials, giving it different chromatic concentrations. Therefore, it is never homogeneous.

This stone is generally called tuff/calcareous tuff. This limestone is primarily located in the southern part of Salento (Lecce Province, Puglia), extracted in deep quarries in Alezio, Ugento, and Gallipoli.

Composition of the Carparo stone

Like all 100% natural materials, Carparo does not have a homogeneous appearance.

However, it may vary in grain size and colour shade depending on the greater or lesser concentration of its chemical components and the different extraction points.

Given its composition, therefore, any differences in intensity, colour and shade. Moreover, it has irregular visual characteristics, representing a value and a peculiarity, since an absolute uniformity of the stone would be impossible to achieve.

It often happens to find fossils or parts sedimented in the stone. This characteristic gives even more value to the product, which guarantees its absolute genuineness and natural origin.

The carparo for cladding

Carparo stone is very absorbent and has a coarse grain, giving it a more overall and rustic appearance. However, without the possibility of meticulous processing, as in the case of Lecce stone.

Carparo leccese stone is more complex and resistant, so much so that it can be worked with a chisel and axe.

Thanks to its resistance, the carparo coating is used in the external facades of buildings. Stone is used primarily for those near the sea and therefore exposed to the corrosive action of salt.

This Salento stone becomes even more fascinating when, over time, it takes on a greyish colour due to the diffusion of lichens and efflorescence on its surface. All this gives the buildings an antique connotation of great beauty.

In the building field, carparo has been widely used to construct “liame”, small rural buildings typical of Salento, similar to pajare or trulli.

The Lecce vaults of these simple rectangular or quadrangular houses, built by skilful interlocking and overlapping stones, were covered with Carparo and tuffaceous stones. All this made them more resistant.

The Carparo stone: where it is found and its uses

Materials carparo stone lecceCarparo is used in architecture in the same way as Lecce stone.

This sandstone saw its splendour in the Baroque period when the facades of many churches were built.

Many historical buildings are made of carparo, moulded and shaped to form rich decorations. The carparo was also used as cladding for the walls and facades of churches, such as the Church of Alessano or the Cathedral of Sant’Agata in Gallipoli.

Both stones are used in construction and architecture to create decorative elements, finishes, cladding, flooring, gifts, and furnishing accessories.

Therefore, not only small furnishing elements but entire houses are made of Lecce stone, harmonising perfectly with the territory and natural circumstances.