Deruta offers some of the best artisan shops in Italy. Buying pottery in Deruta you'll pay substantially less than what you'd pay at Tiffany, Saks, Neiman's or Bergdorf, for the same item.
Located about 18 kilometers from Perugia and an easy day trip from Rome. The town of Deruta has been famous for Italian ceramics for over 300 years.
Be sure to visit the modern lower part with rows of showrooms and retail shops along the Via Tiberina.Then shop for pottery in the older historic and much more charming area at the top of the hill.
Tourists from across the world come to browse and buy in the dozens of small shops lining the cobble-stoned streets in the old city.
The Old City
The old city of Deruta, is medieval, with sections of ancient walls. The 14-century church of Saint Francescohas a bell that was cast and rung for the first time in 1228 to celebrate the canonization of St. Francis of Assisi.
In the small Piazza Biordo Michelotti stands the Gothic-Romanesque church of Saint Arcangelo. Out front is a fine fountain dating from 1848.
On the Piazza dei Consoli, you will find the Palazzetto Municipale, dating from 1300. The atrium houses a collection of Etruscan and neolithic archeological finds.
The Palazzo houses, the Pinacoteca and an important collection of paintings originating from the churches of Saint Francesco, Saint Antonio, and the Defunti di Ripabianca.
Art lovers come to see the paintings of the Baciccio, Srendardo, Alunno, Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, Amorosi and Guido Reni.
In Deruta, you can never stray too far from the ceramic art.
Not surprisingly the major cultural attractions here remain the world-famous Museo Della Ceramica and the 17th-century church of the Madonna del Bagno.
Today traditional patterns, created hundreds of years ago and passed down from generation to generation, can be seen side by side with more modern styles.
The local stores are finding it tough these days.The Euro so much stronger than the dollar and the cost of import duty orders from stores in the United States have fallen.
It's a really good time to look for those special pieces to take home.
If You Go To Deruta
There are regional buses from Perugia but do NOT take the train to Deruta.It stops in a tiny, closed station in the middle of nowhere.There's no shuttle bus.
In Deruta independent family operations create hundreds of shapes mostly in well known traditional designs – like Raffaelesco, Arabesco, and Ricco Deruta.
Designs in Italy are not trademark protected and the most successful pieces are freely “borrowed.”
Deruta Ceramic Styles
Deruta is best known for Raffaellesco designs that were inspired by 16th-century frescoes by Raffael. The dragon is the symbol of a friendly deity who blessed sailors with good fortune. The sea creature was thought to save sailors who were in danger at sea. Today, it's commonly believed that a piece of Raffaellesco in your home will bring good luck.
The Ricco pattern is a reinterpretation of the decorative details in16th-century frescoes by Perugino. It is the most classic and enduring of the maiolica patterns. These beautifully compliment the Geometrico and Raffaellesco patterns.
Arabesco is a Persian design from the 17th century. After the creative period of the Renaissance, the ceramic artists began concentrating on detail and stylistic perfection. In the best Arabesco pottery, every piece of foliage is sketched in color and then carefully outlined. This important double step delivers a unique casual elegance.
If you have ever watched as an Italian artist hand paints a pottery piece? It’s totally amazing. No matter how many times they’ve completed the same design, the brush always moves upon the glaze with the same mixture of certainty and creative concentration.
Even for artists with years of experience, it still takes hours of labor to complete every piece. Each item will be slightly different from its predecessor, making it a true work of art.
Here Are My Tips For Buying Ceramics In Deruta
If you are in Deruta for the day shop around before you buy. It is well worth your while to visit as many shops as possible to compare similar items.
Compare prices and artistry.Don’t be afraid to try to get a better deal before committing to your purchase.
When buying pottery in Deruta stores, always:
- Get their permission before taking photographs
- Ask before you touch the displays or pick up anything
- Leave large purses or backpacks at the cash point so you don't knock anything over.
I always recommend that you have your purchase shipped home. The shopkeepers in Durata are very experienced. They know how to pack merchandise for safe shipping.
Shipping will generally include insurance coverage in the price, or you can ask for it to be added. That way if anything does happen in transit, you can be reimbursed or the shop will send you a replacement piece at no cost.
Paying for shipping may seem expensive but think of the cost of buying an extra bag and the extra weight on the airline. It may actually prove to be the cheaper option.
Give the salesperson your mailing address an email contact and phone number. I suggest that you provide a business card that you can just hand out with all your information complete.
Get contact information from the salesperson. That way you will be able to follow up with them if there are any problems with the shipment.
If you are going to be traveling for some time, ask for your items to be shipped at a date closer to your return home. Most times shipping will take several weeks. I’ve had packages arrive in just 3-4 days.
When buying pottery in Deruta ask if you can take a photo of each piece you buy before you leave the store.Then you have proof of the original condition and a visual record for future communication if it becomes necessary.
Most imortantly, don’t forget to get a detailed receipt for the transaction.
Always calculate customs duties at your price because items carried home in your luggage will have to be declared. For those shipped you may be liable for customs duty on delivery.
Buying Pottery In Deruta - Where to Shop
On the Via Tiburina just off the main square in the historic center, you will find one of the most respected and copied artists in Deruta. The Studio is operated by Assunta Rigibini and her husband Gerardo. They are responsible for a large proportion of the pieces on display. Gerbi's designs have been widely copied in Deruta, but not many studios are able to match this studio's artistry and superb quality.
Via Tiberina Sud Via Umberto, I
(39) 075 9711323
Roberta Niccacci took over the intangible heritage of the company in the search for new direction. So far its taken five years. A challenge that has changed Roberta’s life.
“It has been a journey that I never imagined to do. As each door closed I went forward. I learned not to give up; to fight and to stay focused. I became very strong because having a vision makes you resilient” said Roberta Niccacci. “It’s like living a dream. And I want this dream to come true. I’m ready to celebrate with my many friends all over the world starting from the United States. Thank you to all the friends and customers of Cama, and the people unknown to me, for supporting me in an impossible mission – never attempted in Deruta before.”
Via Tiberina, 113
(39) 075 9711182
The workshop was founded by Francesco Sberna in 1959. Today this is recognized as one of the most important factories of Deruta. Shapes and patterns are usually inspired by traditional motifs but the colors and designs are tied to fashion and contemporary art. One of the sisters will help you or leave you can browse if you wish. Ceramiche Sberna can pack your purchases for travel or ship them directly to your destination.
Via Tiberina Sud, 146
+39 075 971 0206
Miriam Di Favaroni Marcella
In 1978, Marcella and her husband Cipriano Bungiatella opened their workshop Ceramiche Miriam on the Piazza dei Consoli. Marcella’s style is a fine revival of the traditional fifteenth and sixteenth-century decorative patterns: peacocks, acanthus leaves, and arabesques are painted combining amazing elegant colors. The high standard of Ceramiche Miriam is your guarantee of best quality pottery that increases in value over the time.
Address: Piazza dei Consoli, 26, 06053 Deruta PG, Italy
Phone: +39 075 971 1210
Ceramiche Aristiche Gialletti Giulio S.n.c
The G&P snc company was founded by Graziano Pimpinelli and his familiy with the collaboration of the most qualified artisans in Deruta, the Umbrian town famous for producing high quality ceramics. Among the most recognized firms in Deruta, G&P is known for the quality and refinement of all its products.
Graziano Pimpinelli, a master ceramist for more than forty years. He personally oversees all aspects of production, from the creation of the forms to the final decoration of each piece. all are carried out entirely by hand, following the finest traditions of Deruta.
His pictorial talent impels him to continuously create new designs. Most are inspired by the most prestigious era of Deruta's art: The Renaissance. Always with an eye attuned to contemporary trends in order to satisfy even the most "modern" of tastes.
All CREATIONS are produced entirely within the company, and are available in a wide variety of articles. There are many different shapes, sizes and patterns that range over all aspects of the home. There are gifts, decorative items, from tabletop accessories to small souvenirs, wedding gifts and collectibles.
Address: Via Tiberina Sud, 300, 06053 Deruta PG, Italy
Phone: +39 075 972016
If you are buying pottery in Deruta Fima is a good choice!One of the last "real" artisan studios left in Deruta. Here they have all the rich revisited decorations, and wonderful contemporary styles traditional designs,! It can't get more made in Italy than this! The prices are incredibly fair considering the quality of their work! Highly recommended!
Address: Via Tiberina Sud, 111, 06053 Deruta PG, Italy
Phone: +39 075 971 1285
Buying pottery in Deruta is an experience. Grazia have a showroom that will take your breath away. The staff are friendly and patient. Take a tour of their workshop.They have a lot to see and it is all stunning. All worth every penny.Shipping it home? Wait until you see how well they package your order! I cannot recommend this place enough, an all around wonderful experience.
We were met at the door by Chiara, the owner's daughter The next two hours was an amazing experience. The quality, variety, and artistry of the pottery was stunning, unlike anything we had seen elsewhere. Chiara took us on a tour of the entire facility. We saw how they make their pottery right down to the intricate and delicate job of painting it. She also introduced us to her father. We had a very enjoyable chat. They both speak excellent English.
Address: Via Tiberina Sud, 181, 06053 Deruta PG, Italy
Hours: Closed · Opens 8AM Mon
Phone: +39 075 971 0201
Where to Eat
Tavola e Favola
Stop for lunch at Tavola e Favola a favorite of the local artists and bankers. Here you will find friendly waiters wonderful food and a relaxed atmosphere.
Via Tiberina, 190
(39) 075 9710276
Ristorante Locanda del Bracconiere
Situated close to the car park and the roadway up the hill.This is a great place to enjoy lunch before or after visiting the ceramic shops.
It is always busy with locals and visitors as the food is authentic and always enjoyable. I remember great soups, pasta dishes, and risottos. The local wines are most enjoyable served in carafes and by the bottle. I have a ceramic carafe purchased some years ago.
Via Giuseppe Garibaldi 9,06053, Deruta
Phone : +39 075 972353
Where To Stay
L'Antico Forziere has air-conditioned suites and rooms that are elegantly decorated. All rooms have a TV and a minibar.
The restaurant has a rustic interior and is surrounded by stone walls and arches. The menu features traditional Umbrian dishes. The cellar offers a fine selection of regional wines.
The swimming pool overlooks the valley and in the summer the garden terrace is the perfect place to enjoy a meal.
The hotel is situated in Casalina in the River Tevere valley.
Perugia, Assisi, and S. Egidio Airport are a 15-minute drive away.
Mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto. – Eat well, laugh often, love much