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Travertine formed during the Quaternary period.
It has been used since ancient times as a building stone; the Romans used it as early as the 2nd century B.C.
Its name derives from its place of origin, Tivoli (Italy) where it was used to build a number of basilicas in Rome and also the world famous Coliseum in Rome.

Travertine has similar specifications to limestone.
It is a porous calcareous sedimentary rock, ¾ on the MOHS scale, characterised by small unevenly distributed cavities composed of calcium carbonate, and in some cases aragonite. Aragonite re-crystallises quickly into calcite. Its average density is 2.700 kg/m3 and its absorption ratio is variable from 0.90 %.

Depending on the geographical region and weather conditions, other minerals can be found such as silica, clay or even quartz grains.
Travertine is formed from vegetation (moss, algae) through the sedimentation of organic matter that is found near water sources (streams, small waterfalls).
Another calcareous variety of travertine exists called calcareous tuff which is used to line internal walls.

Travertine is a white colour when pure, but can also be grey, yellowish, reddish or brown depending on the impurities and minerals it contains.

Travertine is used in interiors for paving and stairs as well as sideboard or table tops. Outdoors, it is used around swimming pools, for terrace floors and vertical surfaces.

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