Colonnata - The village of lard and marble

Central Square in Colonnata
We at ItalicaRentals have decided to write this article about the town of Colonnata because in our opinion it is a perfect destination for a half-day trip.

A way to see something different, and even good, while on vacation.

So if you want to eat well and discover a small Apuan village, then keep reading this information on Colonnata.
Alley in Colonnata

Why go to Colonnata?

The reasons for taking a trip to Colonnata are mainly two:

- The magnificent Lardo di Colonnata, famous all over the world and really good to die for (my honest opinion).

- The quarries of Carrara marble that surround this place.
Marble Quarries in Carrara

Where is it and how do you get there?

The town of Colonnata is located about 10 minutes from the center of Carrara, in the Apuani mountains, and surrounded by the quarries of white marble.

The road to reach Colonnata is hilly, with various curves, but in our opinion well passable because rather large and well maintained.
Maybe you will encounter some trucks carrying marble blocks, but it won't be a problem.
Arriving from the sea, it is about 25 minutes by car, so ideal to reach for spending half a day in a different way.
Marble Bench

Colonnata: historical notes

It is said that Colonnata was founded a few decades before the birth of Christ by the slaves who were forced by the Romans to work in the quarries and extract the precious mineral and that its name derives from the fact that the "columns" that were made from the Marble for Rome's buildings.

Discoveries have been made that dated back to a few centuries before, but let's face it, we will never find out precisely and it is also so beautiful, let us imagine the past for a while.
Focaccia with Lardo di Colonnata

The reason it is so famous

As mentioned above, Colonnata is famous for two reasons, but one of these is the main one:
the Lardo di Colonnata is the undisputed star of this mountain village.

You will notice it through the various alleys and even when you arrive.

Famous all over the world and "created" on site by about 15 producers.
Lardo di Colonnata

The Lardo di Colonnata

The Lardo di Colonnata is nothing but the fat part (lard) of the pig, perhaps we could also say the poor part, which has been transformed into something special, and even prized in some ways.

The processing of this culinary marvel is not extremely complicated but involves very precise dosages of garlic, rosemary, salt (fundamental), and other spices which can be cinnamon for example and which is added and dosed by the various producers.
The taste result varies from producer to producer.

The lard is placed inside hand-carved and therefore rough marble basins, today the EU expects them to be smooth and uniform, and then sprinkled with a lot of salt and aromas.

The humidity of the Lardo together with the salt creates brine inside the conches, with which this product, after 6 months, turns into Lardo di Colonnata.

Marble hollows are used because they are naturally porous and allows to "breathe".

It is assumed that the Lardo di Colonnata was born for various reasons put together:
- The lard, poor, but still wasted by being thrown away.
- Marble, in abundance here, therefore available to quarrymen to create containers.
- Salt, the best preserved that existed at that time.
- Classic Mediterranean flavors: rosemary and garlic.

All this gave rise to this delicious product to eat on bread, in focaccia, or as a condiment for pizzas and to flavor other dishes.
Church in Colonnata

What to do in Colonnata

In Colonnata you can stroll through the various alleys and admire the church, the quarries you see in the distance.
Enjoy the Lardo and other products on the premises, perhaps with a good glass of wine.

To complete the day you could also visit the quarries with a tour and stop at the various Souvenir shops you will find on the street.
Lard Shop in Colonnata

Our advices

There is no particular time to visit Colonnata, we were there in December and it was very good. In the summer you will find more movement.

First tip: don't try to park in the central square of the town, stop immediately at the first parking lot which is bigger and 20-30 steps lead immediately to the square.

Second tip: go and find the lady who produces and sells the Lardo di Colonnata in her shop called "Al Lardo - Al Lardo".
It has an extremely good IGP production.

Third tip: stop and taste the focaccia with Lardo di Colonnata in the Bar - Merenderia "da Mario".
An enchanted place with extraordinary products and flavors.

Fourth tip: take some Lardo di Colonnata to home, it lasts a long time in vacuum. ;-)

Last tip: try to make Gamberoni with Lardo at home ... a dream!
Marble Transportation
So I suggest you visit Colonnata and spend a wonderful day full of original local flavors.

If you have questions or want advices, please write us using the "Contact Us" link at the top right.

Enjoy your meal! :-)