Carparo is a limestone from Salento. Looking at it you will find a grainy appearance, due to the cementation process of limestone and the sedimentary grains of the marine environment.
That is the main difference to pietra leccese or leccese stone, since carparo is mostly excavated along the costs of the Salento area.
You will find the biggest and most antique Carparo caves in Gallipoli, out of which the most prestigious quality of this material is excavated.
And its thus this area, also known as Mater Gratiae, where Giorgio Angelè Arenarie sources all the material used for the products and designs you will find on this website.
Frequently this material will be referred to ad tuff/
calcareous tuff and is previously extracted in the southern area of Salento, excavated in deep caves around the territories of Alezio, Ugento and Gallipoli.
Due to various types of materials components and color concentrations, you will never find a homogeneous carparo stone.
Carparo for coatings
As opposed to the fine meticulous workmanship that can be done with the pietra leccese, the carparo stone is very absorbent and has a coarse grain, which gives the stone a more rustical appearance.
The carparo stone is more hard and resistant, and is mostly worked on with an ax and chisel.
It is specially due to its resistance that the stone is ideal and often used for outdoor coatings on buildings and houses. Very often recommended for houses near the water or sea, affected by the corrosive action of salt.
This stone is truly fascinating as in time it will acquire a more greyish color, caused by the diffusion of lichens and efflorescence on its surface. This gives the buildings an antique and beautiful connotation.
In the construction field the carparo stone has often been used to build “liame” which are small rural building, very typical for the Salento area and somewhat similar to pajare or trullis.
The construction vaults of this simple rectangles or quadrangular homes, build by cleverly interlockings the building stone, were often covered with carparo and tuff stones to make them more resistant.
The Carparo composition
As all 100% natural materials, the carparo stone does not have fully homogeneous aspects.
However, its granulometry and chromatic nuance can vary, based on the greater or lesser concentration of its chemical components and the different extraction points. (red carparo)
Depending its composition therefore we will find some differences in intensity of tone and color. To the naked eye you will also see irregularities which truly represent quality and exclusivity as it would be impossible to reach unity on the stone characteristics.
It is not uncommon to find sediments and fossils within the stone, which is a very prestigious element of the stone and product that guarantees its genuineness and naturalness.
Where can you find the carparo stone and how is it used
In architecture the carparo stone is used the same way as the Lecce stone.
This sandstone reaches its peak beauty in the Baroque area, where it has been used to make numerous churches.
Many historical buildings have been made in carparo, molded and shaped to form rich decorations. Often also used as coatings for walls and church facades, like the Alessano church and the Cathedral of Sant’Agata in Gallipoli.
Both stones are also used to create decorative elements, finishings, coatings, floorings, accessories and furniture.
Therefore not only furnishing elements, but whole houses created with these stones that perfectly harmonize and adapt to the territory and its surrounding nature.