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Cave Pietra di Montemerlo srl was founded in 1974 to work a quarry of Classic Grey Montemerlo Trachyte, also called Antiacid Montemerlo Trachyte, depending on the various market uses of the material.
Ownership of the quarry was handed down to the current Sole Administrator, the engineer Michelangelo Dalla Francesca Cappello, through family inheritance, having been purchased in 1921 by his maternal uncle Paolo Cini and managed subsequently by his father Antonio since 1945.

History of the quarry

The quarry of Classic Grey Montemerlo Trachyte

The quarry sits on the slopes of the Monte Merlo hills (which gives it name to the town of Montemerlo, which stretches around the hill thanks to the principle occupation of its inhabitants) and has been operating at least since the Roman era, as demonstrated by the far-reaching discoveries of its products in the Veneto region, from Adria to Altino to the Verona countryside. Thanks to its remarkable mechanical resistance and workability, this stone was used principally for the construction of paving stones (basoli) for consular streets, as shown by the discovery of the many paving stones found in ancient deposits of processing scraps; the size of these finds is also a testament to an abrupt halt to work there, presumably due to an epidemic or barbarian invasion.

During the Middle Ages, the use of stone became very rare, given the impoverished economy and the higher cost of labour caused by the lack of slaves; the streets of Medieval cities were paved with river cobbles, which required no special processing and were easily available throughout the Veneto region.

The great upsurge in the use of Trachyte in urban pavements took place in approximately 1600 and 1700, when the Republic of Venice, already a rich city and mistress of the entire Venetian territory and parts of Lombardy, decided to dedicate the “campi” ("fields") (called this because they were intended to provide food for the population of Venice) to social life. The name "trachyte" was also born in the 1700s (of Greek origin, meaning "rough") through the efforts of French encyclopaedists; this of course is evidence of the interest in this material's characteristics, The quarry of Classic Grey Montemerlo Trachyte in 1930which is especially well-suited to the use described above thanks to its anti-slip properties, especially in a humid, rainy climate, even when the rough bush-hammered surface has been worn away with use. After the Second World War, the first machines were introduced for processing slabs, both for pavement and construction coverings, especially for the market in Lombardy, which was already culturally equipped to appreciate the beauty and merits of natural stone beyond its simple chromatic characteristics, which are certainly not the leading quality of this material. One of the most impressive uses in construction in Milan is the Ausonia Insurance building in Bertarelli square, and there are others, but they are not always recognized because they are supplied through local marble-workers. One of the most recent examples is a portion of the square in front of the Central Station.

It is also important to recognize that Classic Grey Montemerlo Trachyte is, and will always be, needed for the preservation and restoration of those historical centres and monuments in which it has been used over the ages, because no other stone can replace its special chemical and physical characteristics.

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