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The origins of Alabaster

The stone of light, gold of Volterra

TheAlabaster Volterra is an ancient material discovered over 6 million years ago, a marble-like calcium sulphate, which is formed in the tunnels and quarries under the open sky of one of the most beautiful cities of Tuscany.

Alabaster of Volterra is the finest in Europe, and still retains the fascination which over the years has led him to be the pride of a city that made her techniques a fine art throughout the world.


The origins

It is said that the first to become fond of this material were the Etruscans in the eighth century BC, who worked for decorative purposes, but it is thanks to the Greeks who perfected the process. When the Etruscans reached their own artistic maturity, began to use it to build the necropolises and cities, thus ensuring a durable structure of their towns, bright and of great artistic value.

From that moment on, Volterra became the homeland of Alabaster, preserving the charm of the quarries of Ulignano and Gesseri, still visitable, carrying out a cultural heritage with the ancient techniques of machining by refined taste.


The techniques that make it unique

A processing remained unchanged over the centuries, perfect synthesis of crafts Made in Tuscany. From mining in quarries, the realization of the process is enriched by many processes which bring into play several artists.

Alabaster occurs in blocks known as arnionis, set in a within a sediment of clay and chalk.  The first procedure is therefore the extraction from quarries, to reach the blockage, release it from the shell and comb it.


  • The squadratori, artisans who know the process of extracting and working the locks leading to a square shape,
  • The Turners, which shape the material making the pieces of spherical or circular,
  • The decoration, which specialise in ornate, i.e. the decoration
  • The sculptors, the master craftsmen who produce the handmade techniques valuable sculptures.


It is no coincidence that this city and the alabaster meet. Volterra is a magical place that he photographed to perfection the Tuscan character, where getting lost in the emotions is easy. History and tradition are apparent in the streets perched in a timeless City, among the buildings in Romanesque style and The historic center to two steps from the Etruscan arch part of walls. Right here, today, stand out the artisan shops.