The Carrara Quarries is a special place. It’s not only the place where Michelangelo got his marble for the statue of David, it’s only the source for the marble that emblazons the Taj Mahal, but also the scene for the pre-titles car chase of Quantum of Solace.
Could you have a car chase in the Carrara Quarries?
Geographically it makes zero sense when you get here, that the car chase starts from the top of the mountain.
Bond is forced to re-route to avoid the road block and is mysteriously teleported to the top of the Carrara Quarries.
The topography is slightly incongruous to the continuity of the chase sequence. But we’ll suspend disbelief.
Below is the hut the police car drives through. It used to be a hut that the workmen would stay in overnight.
Not all the workmen wanted to go home back in the day. They’d find it easier doing long shifts and sleeping periodically, getting up early and making money. Its called hustle people.
However, it was not used for 10 years. The James Bond crew asked if they could demolish it and I’m sure a big cheque was signed to make the magic happen.
The car smashed through the building and rolled to the foot of the mountains in one take.
What else is there at the Carrara Quarries?
You’ll have a humbling trip around the museum, which showcases the brutality of the mountain. Many workers died. Many workers still die carving rock from these faces.
The rights of workers was introduced in 1950. Many didn’t have insurance still and those that got injured stayed without work and without salary.
Those that lost their legs would fashion an artificial limb from a stump of a fig tree.
The most dangerous task that accounted for the most fatalities was called Lizzatura, the name given to the method allowing huge blocks of marble to descend very steep slopes covered in loose rubble by means of long wooden poles used as rollers and rope.
The quarry workers reenact this every year as a mark of respect to the workers that lost their lives and a brilliant article has been written about that on Tuscany Rent Blog.
For ten pound you can get a tour of the mountain. They take you to the top, and bring you back down in a Jeep defender. The driver rages around the road that threads the quarry, never getting out of 3rd gear.
Apparently there’s a law suit going on with the family that owns the mountains and UNESCO. Obviously one wants to preserve the landscape, the other wants to carry on making sh*t tonnes of cash.
For more information on the James Bond Tour visit the Carra Marble Tour Website.
If you liked this article about the the Carrara Quarries be sure to check out more James Bond Locations on the blog.
Further thoughts on Quantum of Solace
The tailoring by Tom Ford is arguably the best of the Craig era
Despite the dislocated script there are some very decent lines dealt by Bond. “You don’t have to worry about me.” And the refusal of Bond to stay in a hotel that has desperately poor trip advisor reviews.
Craig is also at his most guarded in this his second outing. Convalescing from the loss of Vesper. Spiritually he is broken, yet for his pathetic love of country, he would be rudderless.
Most people that have pilloried Quantum of Solace in the past are intransigent to persuasion. Yet some have confessed that upon revisiting, it’s not as bad as some say, including those that made it.
It has a dour final act yet perfectly formulaic.
The score and theme was the last Craig one that truly had any spunk. That had any vim. It’s underrated, but could possibly be a microcosm of what makes the film so divisive; it tries too hard.