The Stones Are Crying In Carrara...But Its Artists Keep On Carving

The steep ridges of Tuscany's Apuane Alps rise from the sea, flanking the small city of Carrara. All year round they glow in brilliant whiteness--not because they're covered with snow, but because the rock has been ripped open, revealing the world's largest concentration of pure marble. "Growing up in Carrara, you can't help but be fascinated with the majesty of the mountains," says 29-year-old architect Gigi Baini, who is finishing his university thesis on the design uses of Carrara marble. His father buys and sells marble, and his grandfather sold his mine when the vein he was excavating ran dry. "A few months after my grandfather sold, someone else discovered a new vein," says Baini. "In Carrara, becoming rich or poor is easy."

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