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  • Travertine Quarries of Rapolanozoom in altra finestra
  • Travertine Quarries of Rapolanozoom in altra finestra

Travertine Quarries of Rapolano

Located in the Sienese tract of the Ombrone valley, along the Sentino provincial road above a hill formed by extensive beds of concretionary limestone, that is to say formed by a sedimented heterogeneous material, the territory of Rapolano presents a nature formed by two qualities of sedimentary rock, varyingly extracted and utilised as building material. The western side of Mount Palazzuolo, up to the ramifications of the Ombrone valley, is formed by arenaceous secondary rocks, while the hills of the central territory of Rapolano are formed by tertiary rocks covered by beds of travertine and gravel connected by a siliceous calcareous gluten.

It was precisely the abundance of travertine, along with the presence of the renowned hydrothermal springs, that in past centuries decreed the fortunes of Rapolano. Mining activity is indeed documented since the 16th century, as shown in a document dated 1597 and concerning the Noceto quarry which was supposed to supply the material for Santa Maria in Provenzano. Principally tied to commissions contingent to the construction of single buildings, the extraction of travertine knew its moment of greatest splendour between the last years of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th century, continuing with changing fortunes up to our day.


Texts by Anna Toscano

English translation by Victor Beard

Last update 07/gen/2008