The stunning peak of Monte Altissimo is the place where it all started and still the beating heart of the company.
Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1517 was the first to explore the marbles from Seravezza. The mountain was there
with its hidden treasures waiting for the bright intuition of the gifted artist who immediately understood the inestimable value of the marble locked inside.
Michelangelo had then been commissioned the facade of San Lorenzo Church in Florence and this was a great chance for him to start building the road among the immaculate slopes of the mountain that would lead to the precious marbles of the Altissimo.
The road was only completed in 1567 (after his death) thanks to Cosimo I Medici and in 1569 the first block reached the valley among the triumphant local people who saw the beginning of a new hope for their community.
Erminio Cidonio got to Versilia in 1957 to become the Managing Director and leading guide of Henraux.
He shared the same passion and dream that belonged to Jean Baptiste Alexandre Henraux in 1821, he aimed to make the company become the leading stone company in the world and he dedicated all his life, passion and energies to this.
He kept very positive the collaboration with Henry Moore (that on 1956 contacted Henraux for a large sculptural commission for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris) and he developed relationships with several great maestros and young artists. Among the best known names were Jean Arp, Joan Miró, Geroges Vantongerloo and Isamu Noguchi.
He produced “Marmo” an international art periodical (run by Bruno Alfieri) and it was a very strong communication tool to promote the high value of stone to architects, designers and developers.
He arranged seminars and workshop for young artists and in 1963 the idea of creating a contemporary sculpture centre in Querceta started to take shape.