The Natural Stone Sector

The Natural Stone Sector

Apulia is a region in which natural stone abounds, where rocks push their way to the surface and create a truly unique landscape. The natural stone sector is an economic resource for the entire region and also an important element of “made in Puglia” exports. Much appreciated in many places around the world, Apulian stone is known for its beauty and the physico-chemical characteristics that make it suitable for all types of construction. Quarrying stone from the 399 active sites scattered throughout the territory is made easier both by the climate, which means it is a year-round business, and the presence of an avant-garde transformation and processing industry.
Today, Apulia is the second most important quarrying area in Italy, with four active production areas - in Apricena, Trani, Fasano-Ostuni and Lecce – each boasting a very different type of natural stone.

The Apricena District (Foggia), is the most important quarrying area in southern Italy, and the second nationally, producing some 90% of the natural stone quarried in Apulia and 20% nationally. In this district, it is the famous calcareous stone, commonly known as “Apricena stone” that is quarried. Known for its beauty and versatility, stone quarried here is amongst the most appreciated in the world and all types present are used to decorate palaces and monuments, churches and public places. They can be seen in the decorative elements of the Palace of Caserta (summer palace of the Neapolitan kings), the church dedicated to Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo and in many public buildings throughout Apulia itself. Apricena stone is also in great demand in Middle Eastern countries, Germany, the USA and Canada.

The Trani District (Barletta-Andria-Trani) is characterized by the strong, compact stone found here, used in modern civil constructions and in decorative architectural elements, cladding and exterior paving. Trani stone is often seen in the historic town centres of southern Italy – in old buildings, monuments and churches – including the cathedrals of Trani, Barletta, Bitonto and Bari, and also in the monuments seen in many squares throughout Italy. In Apulia it was also used to build castles, and the famous Castel del Monte shows off its solidity and beauty to perfection.

The Fasano-Ostuni District (Brindisi) quarries two types of stone. Fasano stone is characterized by its distinctive red veining and is used mostly for internal cladding but also monumental works and religious furnishings. Ostuni stone, on the other hand, is characterized by its ivory-white colour and is much appreciated for is softness and considerable compactness which makes it a suitable material for both the construction of homes as well as items crafted by artisans, furnishings and objects of design. One example of the beauty and versatility of this stone can be seen in buildings in Ostuni, often described as Apulia’s “white city”.

The Lecce Districtcan also boast that two types of stone are quarried there: Lecce stone and so-called “carparo”. The clay content of both stones makes them particularly easy to work with and shape. In comparison to the harder, more resistant Carparo stone, Lecce stone is particularly soft - it can actually be shaped by the naked hand! Its malleability meant it was widely used in the decorative elements and friezes that typify the particular Baroque style associated with Lecce and can be seen in the capitals, spires and rose windows of historic buildings and churches in Lecce and throughout the Salento.

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Apulia's natural stone productive business cluster

The Apulian Productive Business Cluster was established in 2010, since when it has been working to develop and promote the sector, and in particular, in fostering the innovation of the entire production chain and reducing the impact quarrying has on the environment.

For information about the activities of Apulia’s Natural Stone Productive Business Cluster: -


Video Natural Stone Sector