My mother was there to paint landscapes and quaint scenes from the romantic cities. I was there to finally see firsthand all of the historical buildings and cities where some of my favorite design styles and crafts originated. It took some convincing, but I finally convinced her to board a train to some of the lesser known villages. Chiavari and Carrara were on the top of the list because of their iconic brass chairs and stone quarries.
As we rode the train along the Italian Rivera I insisted that my mother take a break from her Nora Roberts book to glace at the majestic white mountain faces of Carrara, Italy...
Looks like snow doesn't it? But take a good look at the three images below of Mont Blanc (left); Mount Saint Everest (center), and Mount Kilimanjaro (right). all three of these mountains are white because their peaks soar high up into the sky and are covered in snow.
The Carrara mountains are not even high enough to have snow capped peaks
Instead their white faces are a result of their core being made of beautiful white marble!
Believe me....it isn't snow, it is marble!...Carrara and Calacatta Marble to be exact.
Carrara, Italy is where all of the gorgeous kitchen counter tops that grace the pages of Elle Decor and Architectural Digest each month originate from. All of the quarries cut slabs of "Carrara" and "Calacatta" marble from these pristine mountains.
There are so many variations and there are no set rules for what you can and cannot call a slab so each vendor or stone yard might have the same name for two very different looking slabs. This is why it is so important to see a slab in person before purchasing it!
I was reading one of my favorite blogs WOMANISTA by Cassie McConnell Kelly. Cassie and I attended high school together many years ago in Nashville and she is not only a beautiful "womanista" with amazing style and a warm smile, but she is a very driven individual and her blog exemplifies her fabulous taste and some very valuable information in regards to travel, beauty, fashion, decor, food, wine, and music. I was beyond impressed with her educational post on the difference between Carrara and Calacatta marble, especially considering she is not an interior designer.
As I read the post I laughed because her post included all the same "educational" information I had tied into this post about my trip to Cararra, Italy...Even her self-deprecating story about mispronouncing Calacatta as "Cal-cutta" with her Southern accent, I can 100% relate to because I can remember working at my first job at a high end architecture studio in NYC and being corrected by a senior designer for the same incorrect pronunciation.
Below is a link (click the image below) to Cassie's blog post about her personal account of learning the difference between Carrara and Calacatta marble during the remodel of the home she shares with heartthrob and country music singer Charles Kelly of Lady Antebellum...