In Italy, well-known travertine quarries exist in Tivoli and Guidonia Montecelio, where the most important quarries since Ancient Roman times can be found. The Guidonia quarry has major historic value, as it was one of the quarries where Gian Lorenzo Bernini selected material from which to build the famous Colonnade of St. Peter's Square in Rome (colonnato di Piazza S. Pietro) in 1656-1667. Michaelangelo also chose travertine as the material for the external ribs of the dome of St Peter's Basilica. Travertine derives its name from the former town, known as Tibur in ancient Roman times. The ancient name for the stone was lapis tiburtinus, meaning tibur stone, which was gradually corrupted to travertino (travertine). Detailed studies of the Tivoli and Guidonia travertine deposits revealed diurnal and annual rhythmic banding and laminae, which have potential use in geochronology.
Cascades of natural lakes formed behind travertine dams can be seen in Pamukkale, Turkey, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other places with such cascades include Huanglong in Sichuan Province of China (another UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Mammoth Hot Springs in the US, Egerszalók in Hungary, Mahallat, Abbass Abad, Atash Kooh, and Badab-e Surt in Iran, Band-i-Amir in Afghanistan, Lagunas de Ruidera, Spain, Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca, Mexico and Semuc Champey, Guatemala.
In Central Europe's last post-glacial palaeoclimatic optimum (Atlantic Period, 8000-5000 BC), huge deposits of tufa formed from karst springs. Important geotopes are found at the Swabian Alb, mainly in valleys at the foremost northwest ridge of the cuesta; in many valleys of the eroded periphery of the karstic Franconian Jura; at the northern Alpine foothills; and the northern Karst Alps. On a smaller scale, these karst processes are still working. Travertine has been an important building material since the Middle Ages.
Travertine has formed sixteen huge, natural dams in a valley in Croatia known as Plitvice Lakes National Park. Clinging to moss and rocks in the water, the travertine has built up over several millennia to form waterfalls up to 70 m (230 ft) in height