Nestled in the Apuan Alps and surrounded by the beautiful marble quarries, Colonnata is a tiny hamlet in province of Carrara at about 500 meters of altitude above sea level. Colonnade, originally a small Roman settlement for the extraction of marble was founded in the 40 B.C. and developed until the last century thanks to this kind of activity. In recent years, new extraction techniques and the availability of marble from foreign countries, have caused a large drop in employment for the inhabitants of Colonnata. Today the economy of the country is connected to the gastronomic evolution that has focused mainly on local products and in particular on a special salami became famous all over the world: The Lard of Colonnata. This product, with IGP Mark, dating back to 1000, is considered the food of the quarrymen who in winter were working in the cold weather consuming a lot of energy and needed good food and many calories. The exceptional goodness of the Lard is due to its maturation. Made in a basin carved from a single block of marble, seasoned with spices, salt and pepper (the recipe is a secret) it is left to "mature" from 6 to 10 months. The result is a product with a fragrant aroma and delicate flavor to taste thinly sliced on fresh home made bread, maybe....still warm. To visit Colonnata, you must park your car outside the village and take the shuttle to the centre , where it's pleasant walk in the small squares and browse in the many shops where you can taste and then buy local gastronomic products including the famous lard.