Apuan Alps Geopark
how to find us
The Museum of the Bended Stone
is located in Levigliani of Stazzema (Lucca)
The village is situated at the edge of the Apuan Alps
Regional Park, in the Versilia hinterland, at about 600 mt above sea
level. It is easily reachable by car following the provincial road of
Arni through the village of Seravezza, Ruosina and Retignano, or through
Levigliani is 24 km far from Massa, 29 far from Viareggio, 32 far from Castelnuovo Garfagnana, 48 far from Lucca, 57 far from Pisa
Tollgate Versilia A12 (E80) Genova-Rosignano: 20 km far
Rail Station FF.SS. Forte dei Marmi-Querceta: 16 km far
Airport Galileo Galilei, Pisa: 61 km far
Bus service: Vaibus
The visit to the Museum is included in the ticket for the Antro del Corchia tourist caves or the
"Corchia Underground" System
Ticket Office Information
c/o reception of Museum
via IV Novembre, 70
55040 Levigliani di Stazzema (Lucca)
tel. +039 0584 778405
fax +039 0584 778053
on the Antro del Corchia's tourist Caves and other structures of "Corchia Underground" System
Museum of the Bended Stone
culture, territory in 27 centuries of history
The Museum was created from the idea of gathering in the same place the best and most important heritage left by Apuan marble culture in the territory and beyond over the centuries. The aim is the ostensive preservation of “holotypes” of the most typical marble products, beginning with serial productions, to develop specialized archeological knowledge and not to lose artisanal and artistic traditions which unfortunately are being forgotten.
Much of the material culture of marble has been lost in 27 centuries of history, from the beginning in the VI Cent. until today.
Therefore, several techniques and knowledge especially from the most ancient periods need to be reconstructed through mineral archaeology.
The Museum, therefore, not only reclaims handiworks and collects them but it also functions as an applied research centre for this particular field.
Such a cultural institution is also a fundamental
element in the territorial system of sites and goods of archeo-mineral
interest which comprises historical caves and mines and
documentation centers. In 2001 the Parco archeologico delle
project (Archaeological Apuan Alps Park Project) had already
recognized their importance as examples to better document the
evolution in time of marble mining activity and production in the
Areas of the Museum
Pure and holy marbles (in niveo templo)
The area dedicated to sacred and funerary art exhibits important handiworks which testify to marble natural suitability for religious-content work of art. Columns, capitals, balustrades, vases, sculptures and bas-reliefs with religious images are here exhibited. It is a productive sector which in modern and contemporary age has been the leading sector of artistic and artisanal working techniques which use Apuan white and coloured marble.
Post council architecture choices for poor and local materials led into a crisis the sector which for long had contributed to several studies on sculpture, especially in Carrara, Pietrasanta, Seravezza and Querceta.
The colours of marble (luxuriosa materia)
The section is dedicated to coloured Apuan marble which nowadays is rarely used by the mining industry but was once particularly famous and prestigious.
It was especially appreciated for its polychromatic decorations and baroque tarsias but it almost fell into disuse for furniture and luxury products.
The windows exhibit a rich collection of ornamental coloured Apuan marble of historical value and examples of handiworks exploiting the evocative effects of stones polychromy.
Stones for houses and workshops
For centuries kitchens and chemist’s shops have used a common tool, especially made of marble: mortar. Crushing of organic and inorganic materials was a typical activity in both places. Marble and local stones were raw materials for the production not only of mortars but also for vessels for the conservation of oil and lard and for containers for fire. The Museum houses a Park herbal about the flora of the Apuan Alps with exsiccata of plants of high naturalistic value.
27 centuries of history (marmor signum temporum)
Thanks to the material testimony of some marble serial but symbolic pieces of art almost three thousand years of history come alive in a single place.
Especially architectonic work and everyday life tools mark the inexorable passing of centuries.
Among local handiworks of historical and archeological value there are: a non pictographic funerary cippus with half-circle crowning from the Etrurian period; a large fragment of trabeation of an imperial Villa Rustica; basements, kingposts and capitals from late-medieval poliforas.
Apuan Ligurian tombs in Levigliani
(…ferrum hastae, lapides sepulcri…)
A special archaeological area exhibits ceramic findings (cinerary urns, cups, etc.) and other type of tomb equipment (fibula, armlets, rings etc.) from some graves dating back to the III-II century B. C. just before Roman conquest of the territory. Worth of mentioning is a javelin tip. It is thought to be bended for ritual purposes and it has miniature dimensions because it belonged to a child. Graves were kept in a lithic box consisting of five-six schist slabs with loose stones for external protection
Exhibited materials derive from chance discoveries and scheduled excavations
in Levigliani necropolis which is the largest burial ground of the people of
the Apuan Ligurians in the geographic region which still keeps their name.
The archaeological finds are deposited here by the Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage of Tuscany.