Sometimes the name of a town indicates not only its origin but seems almost to create its destiny. Carrara, for example, and the street called Via Carriona that heads to the quarries, keep memories in its own name of the endless passages of the carts descending through the town towards the coast: in Roman times, the blocks arrived all the way to the harbour of Luni, while since medieval times the main destination was the the port of Lavenza, today Marina di Carrara.
The industrial revolution arrived here too and after years of proposals, projects and disputes, in 1874 the railway construction site was open and in 1890 the Marmifera trail was complete: twenty two kilometers in length, four bridges and tunnels that cut through the heart of the mountains, eleven stations and loading areas. An enormous undertaking that run until 1960, despite the bombings of World War II.
The Marmifera was also open to the public: in 1916 the Touring Club suggested anyone interested in visiting the quarries to ask the managing company to hook up an extra coach to the convoy in order to transport up to 25 persons. Since the service was free, the Touring Club suggested leaving a tip for the railway men!
Unfortunately transportation on tires has eliminated the old Marmifera whose splendour is today visible at Ponti di Vara – in the quarries of Fantiscritti – while its history, the projects and documents are preserved in the Archive of the Società Marmifera, at the Public Library of Carrara.
Source: Trame di Lunigiana