The Old Quarry of Verezzi

The Quarry
The Quarry

It was one of the few Stone Quarries of the Finale cultivated in a gallery. The cultivation technique called "cannetta" involved the use of tip and bribe for the execution of deep furrows in the rocky bank, thus isolating a portion of the block of the desired size, (on average 50 cm) which was then finally detached by the use of wet wooden wedges. By impregnating and increasing in volume, the wedges bared the block from the wall along the previously perforated perimeter. In more recent times, fig wood wedges were replaced by iron wedges pressed with a sledgehammer. Along the perimeter walls of the quarry it is still possible to see the characteristic marks left by the steel tip.
Around 1850 the work in the quarries developed and about ten families drew sustenance from them; at the beginning of the twentieth century there were about one hundred workers located in the various mining sites and a metal pier was built for the docking of ships used to transport large blocks of stone.

Remains of the vault of the quarry collapsed
Remains of the vault of the quarry collapsed

The most experienced miners came from the village of Barge (province of Cuneo) or from another historical mining area, the Apuan Alps. Many of the families living in Verezzi today descend from those workers. Towards the end of the thirties the vault of the quarry suddenly collapsed (the present conformation is the result of that collapse); luckily enough it happened during the break time, when the quarrymen were in the open air eating their lunch.
In the piles of stones left over from the work and on the abandoned artefacts, one can observe numerous footprints and abundant shells of Pettinidae (shells), Echinidae (sea urchins), Brachiopodi (corals) and small teeth of Selaci (sharks).
While in Finale the extraction of the homonymous stone has been practiced only in some historical periods, in Verezzi the exploitation of the quarries has been characterized by a greater continuity. The quarry has been closed for a long time but in the nineties, after having obviously been made safe, it became a suggestive stage for the representation of theatrical performances taken from Hell and Purgatory.

Shell footprints (Pettinidae)
Shell footprints (Pettinidae)