A quick last minute posting. For those in the Seattle region, I will be giving a talk on Thursday night (April 22) at the Rick Steves' Travel Center in Edmonds. The talk will run from 6 to 7 p.m. and will focus on the building stones of Italy. I will highlight the travertine quarried in Tivoli and used for the Colosseum and the marble of Carrara, best known as the favored sculpting medium of Michelangelo. I will also discuss the brilliance of Roman architects and engineers and look at how well they understood the building properties of the different building stones found around Rome.
The talk is free and open to all. It will be fun and informative, or so I like to think.
Even Dante was impressed with the Carrara marble. This quote is carved into a panel placed above a quarry in Carrara, which the great poet visited.
By combining tuff and travertine, the Romans were able to take advantage of each stone's strengths to build amazing structures, such as the Theater of Marcellus.
This panel of travertine is from the cutting yard of the Mariotti family quarry, which supplied the stone for the Getty Museum complex in Los Angeles.