Activities

The tourist office has information on walking trails with magnificent quarry views and also on a three-hour 'Michelangelo in White' biking itinerary – a 24km route that sees cyclists climb 550m up from Carrara-Avenza train station to the quarries and beyond to Colonnata.

Sleeping

Decent accommodation options in Carrara are limited to a couple of B&Bs and guesthouses, the most appealing being garden-clad and slightly out of town. The neighbouring art town of Pietrasanta makes an attractive, alternative base.

Eating

The only place to lunch is in the hamlet of Colonnata, 2km from the Fantiscritti quarries, where one of Tuscany's greatest gastronomic treats, lardo di colonnata (thinner-than-wafer-thin slices of aromatic pig fat) sits ageing in marble vats of herby olive oil. Once you're hooked, purchase a vacuum-packed slab (€15 per kg) to take home from one of the many larderie (shops selling lardo) in the village.

Drinking & Nightlife

Carrara sleeps after dark, so party animals should push further south along the coast to Viareggio or Forte dei Marmi. A couple of pretty cafe terraces lace car-free Piazza Duomo, overlooking the city's small duomo.