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Travertine – The stone of the Roman Empire

Do you want to make something that lasts over time, if not forever?

Choose Travertine … The Romans had already realised this many centuries ago and they made great use of it to such an extent that Travertine is also called Roman Travertine, which made their works eternal.

Do you want confirmation? Here are some of the works made of Travertine that have survived from Roman times to the present day:

  • Colosseum in Rome made of Travertine in 71 AD. (after Christ);
  • San Luigi dei Francescani Church near Piazza Navona in Rome built in Travertine in 1518;
  • The Barcaccia Fountain in Piazza di Spagna, also in Rome, 1626;
  • St Peter’s Colonnade made of Travertine in 1656;
  • Trevi Fountain made of marble and travertine in 1732.

It is no coincidence that Rome, as you can see, is called « the eternal city » precisely because it has an infinite number of architectural and artistic works in Travertine.

Technical characteristics of Travertine

Travertine is not a marble even though it takes on its appearance during the working processes that give it shine and brightness. It is not granite. It is not quartz.

Travertine is simply a sedimentary rock that formed in central Italy and, due to its geological formation characteristics, it appears in different aspects and layers.

As I said, it was formed in the flat area between Lazio, Tuscany, Umbria and Marche.

Its various layers of rock, which have stratified over time, sometimes contain fossils.Travertine comes in various colours ranging from milk white, beige, light grey to leather brown; but also in various qualities, so that there is Travertine that is more suitable for interiors such as a fireplace; or the most valuable one for cladding or flooring a conference room; or the « poorer » Travertine, but no less beautiful for this, but recommended for more rustic environments such as a country house, a staircase or paving in an ancient village, and so on.

Let us look at some of them more specifically:

• Roman Travertine:

It is one of the most well – known marbles since the Etruscans and Romans. Rome confirms this by the quantity of works made of this Roman Travertine, which is however differentiated into 3 types: 

  1. Clear Classic: dark cream colour with beige shades;
  2. Silver Light: beige with greyish tones;
  3. Silver Dark: beige in colour with dark grey to ivory shades.

• Classic Travertine:

Porous, resistant and compact are the characteristics of Classic Travertine suitable for cladding, flooring and details for both indoor and outdoor use. Classic Travertine is also available in two variations:

  1. Classic Travertine: cream – coloured with grey veins tending towards green;

2. Navona Classic Travertine:  homogeneous cream colour and without cavities.

• Alabastrine Travertine:

extracted from the Tivoli quarry, it is mainly white in colour with wavy veins ranging from cream to silvery grey.

• Michelangelo Travertine:

It takes its name from the sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti because it was one of the materials he used and appreciated most to cover Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome.

Light in colour, it is one of the lightest of the travertines with    very creamy veins.

• White Travertine:

It is suitable for both cladding and sculpture, for both interior and exterior decoration.

It is extracted from the Rapolano quarries in the province of Siena, and it is beige in colour with creamy shades tending towards grey.

• Navona Travertine:

Navona Travertine is milky white in colour and it is suitable for outdoor paving.

• Vesta Travertine:

It is the one used for the colonnade of the Temple of Vesta in Rome’s Imperial Forum.

Beige in colour with wavy streaks      tending to grey from the écru colour.

• Bark Travertine:

It is suitable for interior design elements such as tables, bar counters, washbasins, and so on. It is very elegant with its greyish veins tending towards bronze.

• Walnut travertine:

The name itself already gives you an idea of its brownish colour (in two variants, light and dark) and its compactness and strength, which make it suitable for areas of high traffic and walking.

But Travertine is not only white, cream, ecru beige or ivory and, above all, it is not only Italian.

Travertine also comes from Iran and among the best known and most appreciated are:

• Onyxed Travertine:

bronze – coloured with wavy veins and natural brownish streaks, it is used both indoors and outdoors in various finishes.

• Persian red Travertine:

It is similar in technical characteristics to the Classic Roman Travertine I mentioned earlier.

Its colour varies from deep red to brick red with streaks of lighter colour tending sometimes to orange to white.

To tell you the truth, there are others, but I won’t go into all of them here.
I will present you with a selection of images that are available and can also help you in your choice.

How and where to use Travertine

Travertine‘s many varieties with different qualities and colours make it excellent for both interior and exterior cladding.

It is excellent in a modern, rustic or classical environment. Both in private homes and for shops, hotels, boats etc. etc.

Travertine is excellent for cladding, floors, stairs, kitchen tops, bar counters, shower trays, bathroom furniture, ventilated cladding, sinks, tables, furnishing accessories, objects, columns, portals, fireplaces, cornices, frets, architectural elements, engravings, inlays, and so on. It is applicable in the naval sector and public and private furnishings.

Miss Marmi is currently installing a reception counter in Travertine, as shown in the photo below.

Do you also have a renovation project for your home or business?

Call us and together we will find the most suitable Travertine for your project in terms of colour and technical characteristics.

Our experience at your service.

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