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Orobic marble, commercially known as “Marmo Arabescato Orobico”(1) is one of the most characteristic types of stone found in the Bergamo region. It is extracted at Camerata Cornello (Bergamo) in the Brembo Valley, in the quarries of “Serino Scaravino” close to the village of Cespedosio, where layers of rock from the Triassic formation of red limestone are to be found.
In the past, especially after the seventeenth century, the precious nature of its design and its optimum suitability for polishing made Orobic marble the most popular choice for decorative marble inlays, furniture, and for architectural detail in churches and palaces; it has been used in nearly every church in the province of Bergamo to enrich altars, balustrades, floors and columns.
However, the reputation and use of such a distinctive marble are not confined to the province of Bergamo: some huge slabs (approx. 180 x 180 cm) were placed in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, side by side with marbles of worldwide renown.
Orobic marble is to be found throughout the entire history of art and architecture in Italy, from the floor at the base of Michelangelo’s Pieta (in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome) to the floor of the new Fiera (Exhibition Halls) in Bergamo.

In 1985, in his “Statistics of the Province on Bergamo in Historical Order”, Gabriele Rosa wrote: “After the Veronese mountains, those in the Province of Bergamo are the richest in terms of marble, stone, soil and other minerals used for industrial purposes in the whole Lombardy-Venice region.

Mr. Paolino Gervasoni, who through his tenacity re-established the value of Orobic marble, said: “Once upon a time the quarries were exploited, now they are cultivated.”
“Years ago, using explosives, there was an excessive waste of material, now things are taken gradually, using modern technology, using diamond cutters and blades, without waste, limiting the excavation to those places where the material required is actually located.

(1) In commercial circles, tombstones are classified traditionally in terms somewhat similar to those used in petrographics, classifying stone as marble, granite, stone or travertine, depending on its durability or the type of processing required. This means that all rocks consisting predominantly of calcium carbonate are commonly called marble, regardless of their geological origins, be they metamorphosed carbonated limestone rock or sedimentary, commercially they are included in the category “marble”. Even if it is known by its name Arabescato Orobico, from a petrographic point of view the Orobic marble is a veined limestone.

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Excavating marble since 1965
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