Historic stone continues to thrive in the building industry
May 1, 2006
Since 1964, Santafiora Pietre srl has been producing stone for both domestic and international markets. In particular, the company is well known for supplying high-quality durable stone for the building industry. With five quarries located in central Italy, as well as a processing plant, Santafiora Pietre is a strong entity among stone producers.
The company is most noted for its production of Peperino - a volcanic stone that is speckled-gray in color. The name of the material actually refers to â€œsalt and pepper.â€ Several varieties of the stone are available. They include Peperino Grigio Chiaro; Peperino Rosa, a less common and much valued material; and Lavagrigia and Lavarosa, an exclusive with the strongest technical qualities that is in great demand due to its darker shade, which is suggestive of the strength of the ancient volcanic rocks.
In the Tuscany region, the use of Peperino dates back centuries. It has been employed for the building of important edifices, palaces, strongholds and city walls. It was during the Middle Ages that Peperino emerged in history and in architecture as an outstanding building stone - becoming the typical feature of the medieval â€œCity of the Popesâ€ and of the entire medieval quarter, according to Santafiora Pietre.
Two of the company's five quarries are located at a site adjacent to the office and processing plant in Viterbo. One of the sites has been in operation for 10 years. The first five levels of this quarry produce Peperino Grigio, while Lavagrigia is quarried from the sixth level and below. The neighboring site is six years old and produces Peperino Grigio.
According to Stefano Mutarelli of Santafiora Pietre, the company produces roughly 600 cubic meters of Peperino Grigio per month. Additionally, it produces 300 cubic meters each of Lavagrigia and Lavarosa.
Processing PeperinoSantafiora Pietre has a total of 100 workers among its quarries, fabricating facility and administrative staff. The machines run 24 hours a day at the plant, and the company operates three shifts: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. With the exception of two weeks in December and three weeks in August, the fabricating facility is in operation all year round.
Among the equipment at the plant are several gangsaws, Candiani wire saws, a Pedrini tile line, CGI slab polisher and a Commanduli Omega 100 edge polisher. Hand tools are also used for finishing work.
The stone is available in blocks, raw slabs, semi-finished and finished products, including wall cladding, door and window surrounds, stair treads, coping, paving and sidewalk curbs. It is also offered in gauged and non-gauged flooring surfaces of different sizes, with a minimum thickness of 1 cm. In addition, the company produces various architectural elements such as columns, balustrades, cornices, fireplaces and fountains, added Mutarelli.