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italy day trip to Carrara and mine

In mid June, we are making our first trip to Italy.

We will be staying in Florence and won't have a car. Is it possible/easy to get to Carrara, do a mine tour, visit the town, and return to Florence by evening? How would we go about doing this and how much time will we have to visit the Carrara area?

We contacted the private personal guide recommended in the RS book but she is not available at the time. Are there any others anyone could recommend?

Any other suggestions about what to see or do in the area?

AT the end of our stay in Florence, we will be renting a car and heading south to the hill towns. Would we enjoy the Carrara area more if we rented the car in Florence, drove to Carrara, then headed to Sienna from there? How long, and how difficult would that drive be?

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You may have already made plans, but my family just returned from Italy a few days ago - and we took a tour of the Cararra quarry. Our guide was wonderful, and was actually recommended by Sara (the guide mentioned in the RS book... she wasn't available our week either).

I can highly recommend Nicola Musetti ++39 339 4510950

I'm sure Sara is really good, but Rick Steves' can only mention one or two lucky guides from any given location in his books... Nicola was a pleasure, and was able to take us right into one of the quarries.

We drove from Florence, met Nicola at 10:30 am, did a morning tour, had lunch on the coast, and still had time to visit PortoVenere (an amazing coastal/cliff town just South of Cinque Terre)... and were back at our Villa before dark. It was a full but great day. Let me know if you have any questions.