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The villages of ceramics: A journey into Italian craftsmanship

Monday 13 may 2024

Discover some of the villages that represent one of the excellences of Made in Italy: the art of ceramics

The villages of ceramics: A journey into Italian craftsmanship

Vietri sul Mare - Ph. Armando Dicuonzo/flickr

In the beating heart of Italian craftsmanship, there is a tradition rooted in a history that goes back thousands of years: ceramics. In every corner of the country, the art of ceramics lives on in specialized villages, true custodians of a knowledge that has been handed down from generation to generation, representing one of the excellences of Made in Italy recognized throughout the world.

The art of ceramics: a timeless legacy

Ceramic villages are distinguished by their cultural richness and the craftsmanship of their artisans. Places such as Castelli in Abruzzo, Caltagirone and Sciacca in Sicily, Deruta in Umbria and Faenza in Emilia Romagna are just a few examples of centers where working with clay becomes art. Each piece made carries the hallmark of its origin, telling the story and culture of the place that forged it.

Ceramiche a Castelli
Ceramiche a Castelli - Ph. Tommaso Lembo/flickr

Faenza, the Capital of Ceramics

No trip to ceramic towns would be complete without a stop in Faenza, in the province of Ravenna. Famous for its artifacts that bear the name "faience" in many European languages, Faenza is home to the International Museum of Ceramics, which holds one of the largest collections of Italian and international ceramics. The Palazzo Milzetti, a pearl of neoclassicism, is another of the jewels to visit in this city rich in ceramic tradition.

Event "Buongiorno Ceramica" - Ph. Ente Ceramica Faenza/flickr

The ceramics of Deruta

In Umbria, the small and charming village of Deruta offers a setting rich in ceramic history and tradition. Here every vase, plate or statuette expresses the identity of a place where ceramic production has never known interruption. Deruta's museums and workshops guard the skilled art of the ancient "Deruta masters" and invite you to discover how tradition can be perpetually reinvented.

Artigiano a Deruta
Artigiano a Deruta - Ph. Pietro Torellini/flickr

Colors overlooking the sea

In Vietri sul Mare, Campania, ceramics are colored in vibrant hues reminiscent of the sea and sky that envelop the village. The facades of houses, churches and even benches speak through ceramic decorations that have become the symbol of this place overlooking the Gulf of Salerno. Vietri's majolica tiles, recognizable by their brilliance and glazed colors, encapsulate the warmth of the South.

Ceramiche di Vietri sul Mare

Caltagirone and Sciacca: A south of ceramics and tradition

In Sicily, the ceramic tradition is expressed with power and variety. In Caltagirone, the famous "Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte" is a wonderful example of how ceramics is integrated into architecture and daily life, while in Sciacca, majolica tiles are presented with designs and shapes that tell of sea myths and legends.

Caltagirone, Scala di Santa Maria del Monte
Caltagirone, Scala di Santa Maria del Monte - Ph. Jostein Aaserud/flickr

Innovation while respecting tradition

Artisans today not only preserve ancient techniques, but also integrate them with new ideas and designs, enriching the country's ceramic heritage. Master potters continue to train, travel, and engage with different realities to ensure that each creation is a unique example of applied art.

A heritage to be preserved and enhanced

Italian ceramics, with its thousand-year history, is a heritage that requires commitment and dedication to be preserved and enhanced. In the era of mass production, ceramic villages represent oases where quality and attention to detail are still the rule. Visiting these places is a way to get in touch with the authentic soul of Italy, the one made of passion and skilled hands that shape the material to give life to real masterpieces.

Supporting master artisans, buying their artifacts and spreading the knowledge of this ancient art means helping to keep alive a fundamental aspect of Italian culture. Moreover, each piece purchased is not simply an object, but a story, a fragment of daily life that continues to live on through the generations.

Ceramiche di Deruta
Ceramics of Deruta - Ph. Annalisa Mordenti/flickr

This journey is an immersion in an art capable of telling stories of civilization and humanity, a way to touch the deep roots of a country and a tradition that has been able to make "made in Italy" a term synonymous with excellence and beauty.

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