Orobic marble, commercially known as “Marmo Arabescato Orobico” 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, its precious design and optimum suitability for polishing made this Orobic marble the most popular choice for decorative marble inlays, furniture, and for architectural details in churches and palaces; it has been used in almost 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 Pietà (in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome) to the floor of the new Bergamo Exhibition Halls. In 1858, 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.
The Arabescato Orobico’s basic characteristics are:
- optimum compressive and flexural strength;
- optimum durability, i.e. tread wear resistance;
- a low water absorption coefficient, which renders it unlikely to be damaged by frost and ice.
These qualities make Arabescato Orobico ideal not only for traditional applications such as flooring, steps, columns, pots, amphorae, tables, bathroom counter-tops and other general uses, but also for external and internal applications on rustic surfaces.
Arabescato Orobico is ideally suited for use in high-quality floors and fittings, primarily in large areas, which enhance the full splendour of the geometric designs in open grain polish, achieved thanks to accurate processing and careful laying. The characteristic unique colourings are brought out both by the polishing and the splitting process, which highlight its warm tones.