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Cave Fantini - The Quarry


The Cave Fantini srl company is an open-pit mining activity from which is extracted an ore deposit classified as TUFF. Tuff (in latin: tofus or tophus) is a magmatic rock, in particular the most common pyroclastic rocks, which mainly consists of lapilli of variable sizes between 2 mm and 30 mm, ejected during a volcanic eruption.

The environment in which lapilli deposit can be extremely changeable and, together with the composition of the rock, they determine the characteristics of color, structure and texture of tuffs. Tuff is abundantly present in Lazio volcanic districts; it first started being used as building material in VII Century B.C. by the preroman civilazation called Prisci, the Latin and Etruscans, for its resistant properties yet relatively light and easy to work. In Roman times, it was also used as a base material for hydraulic mortars. It has also being used for more recent constructions like the so-called "new towns" that were built in the Pontine. Lazio tuff is the result of the volcanic activity happened about 600.000 and 300.000 years ago of the Sabatino volcano.

The different types of tuff are classified according to the areas where pyroclasts deposit. We can affirm that the built heritage in Southern Italy is mainly characterized by stone masonry buildings of different origins. Due to its high workability, to its great static properties and to its thermal and acustic insulation, tuff has always been, over the centuries, ably dug and reduced into construction blocks, thus assuming a primary role in sacred, civil and military architecture, as a material used for both structural and decorative purposes throughout historical periods of Central and Southern Italy like in Lazio, Campania, Puglia and Sicily.

The different origins of the same material provides to tuff variable properties and for this, the most valuable and resistant stones were used as plinths and corners blocks, on the outside like in areas of the buildings that required a major resistance to shocks and external agents and to both basement and the most exposed parts of a building.

- click here to visualize the quarry gallery -

Cave Fantini srl via pian dell'olmo - 00060 Riano (RM)
info@tufocavefantini.com - P.I. 01696521002
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