What is so special about the most famous and desirable marble on earth? Maybe it’s the Italian origin, and the historical allure that it was Michelangelo’s favorite stone to carve out his sculptures. Maybe it is the fact that Calacatta adorns so many cathedrals, churches and castles all over the globe. Maybe it is the unique mix of white, grey and hues of gold flowing through the dramatic veining – or maybe it’s all of the above. The truth is that Calacatta marble is the most sought after material in the natural stone universe. But anyone who has shopped for Calacatta marble knows that there are so many different types and price ranges out there. So how do you know if you are buying the real thing or a cheap knock off version?
Calacatta vs. Carrara: Appearance Differences
As a rule of thumb, Carrara tends to be muddy in color and not pure white. Carrara is also less expensive and more common to find in your everyday marketplace or cut into tiles. Calacatta on the other hand has very bold veining with a crisp white background. While each natural stone slab is unique, Calacatta marble is much more rare than your typical Carrara.
Where Does Calacatta Marble Come From?
Calacatta marble comes from quarries found in the Apuan Mountains in Carrara, Italy. Owner of Aria Stone Gallery, Vinny Tavares, has been going to the Carrara area of Tuscany in Italy – the land of Calacatta marble – for the past 10 years. Tavares explains, “what most people don’t realize is that Calacatta marble doesn’t come from one specific mountain or quarry. There is a vast mountain range in the Carrara region in Italy, with each quarry producing a variety of white marbles such as: Bianco Carrara, Goiai, Venatino, Statuario and finally, Calacatta marble. All of these materials are white marble with more or less the same geological formation.”
Some quarries produce better Calacatta marble than others. For example, the Borghini Quarry is one of the oldest operating quarries in the Carrara region and some of the quarry’s cuts can be traced to Roman Times.
What Does the Perfect Calacatta Marble Slab Look Like?
In order to understand Calacatta, you need to know what is not Calacatta. Just because someone calls a Statuario marble, “Calacatta” – does not mean it is a true Calacatta. But what truly differentiates all of the white marbles in the Calacatta Region – as the Italians have discovered hundreds of years ago – is the stone’s veining and how white the background is. The whiter the material, the more expensive the slabs. The more “uniform” the veining in the stone, the pricier it gets.
At Aria we only go for the best Calacatta slabs, the one in a thousand. The one with the most unique veining and most clear and consistent pattern. The end result is crystal clear, even for those who can’t pinpoint Carrara on the map!
These designs are guaranteed to brighten up every day at the office with earthy and eye-catching natural stone showstoppers. Whether you are trying to make a grand first impression or set the tone for an important conference, these offices will make a statement.
This stunning feature wall of Mercury White marble makes for a grand entrance that you will not forget. Not only are clients greeted on the way in with a stunning natural work of art, but they are also able to enjoy the stone on the interior of the conference room.
Set the tone in the executive offices with a sophisticated boardroom, such as this one at Grande Cheese. The Architects at Gensler fashioned a slab of Calacatta Retro marble into a sleek conference table that means business.
Pairing clean lines and a symmetrical bookmatched design is welcoming and evokes a sense of serenity. The floating marble design mixed with the dark wood paneling creates an eye catching focal point on this stunning natural work of art.
With great joy, we are proud to announce the launch of our brand-new quarry experience program. As a pioneer in the industry, Aria continually pushes the envelope when it comes to customer experience and education which holds true with the announcement of our new, custom “World-Class Hand Selection” program. The program is a once-in-a-lifetime excursion which gives the clients a chance to experience the behind-the-scenes process of hand-selecting stone for their special project. It allows the travelers to immerse themselves in the rich history, culture, and cuisine of the region from which the stone is sourced. This hands-on approach is unique to Aria and gives the clients the ability to experience all stages of stone sourcing, from mining and processing, to the selection of that perfect piece.
This truly is a one-of-a-kind excursion, not only do the customers get a chance to experience all aspects of stone sourcing, they are also treated to world-class perks. From fine dining, true to the region’s culinary roots prepared by world-class chefs, and five-star lodging accommodations to breathtaking views and total immersion in the surrounding culture. The memories of this trip are sure to stay with our clients forever, as they will be reminded of their amazing experience every time they gaze upon their completed project. Not many people in the world will be able to tell tales of the exact origin of their stone and even less will be able to say that they were there as it was hand selected in the quarry. Aria spends no expense to ensure our customers are treated like royalty.
At the end of this adventure, you will know first-hand what it means to be called “Aria quality” stone and why we treat each slab as a piece of art. Come along with Aria on this one-of-a-kind journey and gain the unique insight, knowledge, and education from an industry insider, Vinny Tavares.
If you are interested in participating or have any additional inquiries, please contact us.
The Aria team recently traveled to the beautiful land of Italy, and we are here to share our journey with you. Italy, also known as the “culinary epicenter, fashion capital and cultural haven” is richly abundant in historic architecture and art. Its unique beauty and serenity is so stunning that it is hard to describe in words. From its priceless cultural riches in Florence home to Michelangelo’s David to its historic monuments in Rome such as the Colosseum; stone and Italy have, for a long time, been synonymous.
Besides the historic attractions, Italy is also known for its beautiful marble. Ranging from Bianco Carrara, Goiai, Venatino, Statuarietto, Staturio, to the famous Calacatta, Italian marble remains in high demand. Our founder, Vinny Tavares, has been traveling to the Carrara region of Tuscany, also known as the land of the Calacatta, for the past decade. This Spring he was joined by the rest of our team.
Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look as we share the beautiful sights of Milan, Florence, and Carrara, from the beautiful mountaintops in the Apuan Alps to the charming Tuscan countrysides.
Come along with us as we take you on a truly one of a kind journey and share with you Italy through Aria’s eyes. We are certain you will experience the true meaning of ‘la dolce vita.’
“Do not follow where a path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
We can’t get enough of this inspiration featured in Architectural Digest, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick’s Greenwich Village New Townhouse in New York! This stunning home is on the market and are so pleased to see that Carrie Bradshaw herself also loves a stunning marble feature wall as much as we do.
At only 25 feet wide, the building features a pristine brick façade that was built in 1846. Several updates have been made to the property such as the kitchen which features a bookmatched Calacatta Extra fireplace. The fireplace is a perfect contrast to dark espresso cabinets and countertops, bringing depth and lightness to the room.
Tying the open kitchen to the dinning area, the marble theme is carried throughout the entire space. A large, 6 person marble table overlooks the lush green courtyard with storefront windows providing and illusion of extended living space and a beautiful example of open plan living. Overall, this East 10th home has a clean, warm and earthy feel that is the perfect juxtaposition of historical and modern design aesthetics.