The results of the geological characterization of an old stone building in southern Italy, are presented here. The Mondragone marble is a slightly metamorphosed carbonate rock, which was widely employed as monumental stone in the 18th century Royal Palaces of Naples and Caserta. In this paper, for the first time, this rock has been investigated with a thorough laboratory testing program, aimed at defining its mineralogical, physical and mechanical parameters. The two most important varieties of Mondragone marble were separately tested: the yellow and grey marbles (hereafter, YM and GM, respectively). The results obtained from physical tests (open porosity, dry density, specific gravity, water absorption coefficients, ultrasonic velocity) did not show marked differences between the two materials; in contrast, the mechanical strength tests (uniaxial compressive strength, point load strength, flexural strength) showed better behaviour of YM than for GM. After a tentative comparison with other well known carbonate rocks from Italy, some considerations on the response of Mondragone marble to local weathering were conducted. In particular, the weathering typologies were related to the particular texture of the brecciated marble and the different strength resistances displayed by the various constituents of the rock.
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