The enduring beauty of marble has been appreciated throughout the millennia, its name coming from the Greek for “gleam”.
Some Mediterranean quarries have been producing marble ever since.
Marble is a metamorphic rock swirled or clouded with colour, but calcite and dolomite marbles, for example, are pure white. Its unique texture derives from the size and uniformity of the grains within it, its special colours due to the various elements and compounds it contains.
Travertine, meanwhile results from hot spring water penetrating underground limestone to leave behind layers of dissolved minerals, hence its banded appearance. Generally light-coloured beiges and tans, travertine stones are used for floors, walls, countertops and outside as cladding and pavement. It is normally filled with grout before it is honed or polished, producing a uniform surfaces more like other marbles. Unfilled travertine is also quite beautiful, and is often used for external cladding on buildings.