Shopping for pottery in the hill towns of Umbria? You've chosen the right place. This region is chock full of talented artists and craftsmen who take enormous pride in their work.
Seeking out these artisans and their handcrafted goods as a tourist, though, can be a little tricky. Life in Italy seems so laid back. Lets spend a lazy afternoon sipping cappuccino in the piazza to exploring the sites on a scooter.
There is still that enviable charm surrounding “la dolce vita.”
The Umbria Region Of Italy
Umbria is one of few regions in Italy that has four towns with the ancient tradition of ceramics: Deruta, Orvieto, Gabio, and Gualdo Tadino.The region is divided into two provinces, Terni And Perugia. Perugia is the capital. Umbria covers an 8,500 square kilometer area and has a population of 870,000, which makes it the fourth lowest populated regions in the country.
The chic rustic simplicity of the hill towns, with their deep fertile valleys and rugged mountains, are a real joy for the amateur photographer. The Umbriam crafts, museums, wine, olives, truffles, fungi, porcini, fennel, and chestnuts will have you coming back again and again.
The Ceramics Of Umbria
Rich clay soil, an abundance of water and forests with the perfect wood to stoke the kilns, has guaranteed the development of fine studios in Umbria down the centuries.
Visitors interested in hand-painted pottery today won't be disappointed.
Many collectors of Italian Studio Pottery avoid the temptation to buy in heavily congested cities like Florence, where you’re likely to pay more.
They prefer shopping for pottery in the hill towns of Umbria where they are able to connect with the artists themselves.
Umbria is the only Italian region with no international borders or access to the sea.The hill towns have been relatively free from tourism. This may be the reason that the people make you feel so welcome. You will be impressed with their wonderful honesty, natural kindness, and generosity.
Shopping For Pottery In The Hill Towns of Umbria
My personal favorite place to shop for maiolica (also known as “majolica”) is in Deruta, a small Umbrian town about 20 kilometers from Perugia.
True maiolica devotees flock to Deruta, where there are over three-hundred ceramic studios reflecting a wide range of styles, and quality.Deruta has been famous for ceramics for well over 300 years, and they're still producing amazing pottery using the same methods, materials, and designs that were used by previous generations of potters.
The local economy here is dominated by the production of hand-made, hand-painted ceramics.The ceramics attract visitors from all over the world who come to browse and buy in the dozens of small shops that line the cobblestoned streets.
Avoid the larger, more industrialized operations on the outskirts of town that advertise heavily along the highway.The prices are lower but so is the quality.These stores are my personal favorites:
The town is divided into two main sections: the small old town on the hill, which is quaint and full of ceramic stores, and the larger newer area down below, which has a bit more traffic, but is also full of ceramic stores, showrooms and showrooms.
We missed our friends on our last trip but were blown away by the intricate Deruta patterns many of which are inspired by nature, with fruit, flowers, and animals common subjects for Italian majolica pottery.
Mixed fruit patterns add elegance to planters and platters with colorful apples, peaches, pears, grapes and quince.
I noticed lemons, are still a widely used pattern. The bright yellow color often paired with deep cobalt blue back grounds or on creamy white.
Pottery Shops In Duruta
Via Tiberina, 146
Tel: 39 075-971-0206
Anna and Franca, daughters of Francesco Sberna who, after working for twenty years in close contact with the most important Derutese Masters of the twentieth century, founded a small artisan workshop that is still one of the most important factories in Deruta.
Ceramiche Sberna produces prestigious home and table decorations.
Their shapes and drawings and scrupulous search for colors and designs that follow fashion inspire contemporary art.
The pottery here is of the highest quality found anywhere in Italy.
Via Tiberina Centro 181
Tel: 39 075-971-0201
The oldest ceramics workshop in town. A wonderful place to find pottery in the hill towns of Umbria. Be sure to visit, especially their workshops.
Since 1500 the Grazia family has been producing high-quality majolica using the time honored hand made methods passed down from one generation to the next.
Would you like to visit the Deruta factory? You’re more than welcome! Entrance and guided tours are free. Reservation is not necessary, unless you come with a group. One can also participate in majolica courses, after reservation and payment. For questions or more information you can contact us or Ubaldo Grazia and Emanuela (they also speak English).
Tel: +39 075 971 0201
In the last 25 years, Franco Mari has produced some of the most eye catching innovative dinnerware designs available. Franco Mari, besides continuing the family tradition, has left a personal touch with his products. He achieves this by creating styles, designs, and color combinations to meet the needs of a sophisticated clientele. Franco's new style, that uses and improves on ancient techniques, has opened the door to new markets around the world.
Ceramiche Aristiche Gialletti Giulio S.n.c
Owned and operated by Carlo and Antonio Gialletti.
The company was founded in 1959 by their father Giulio and their grandfather Virgilio,and the legacy has continued through three generations. The fourth is busy growing up to hopefully one day continue in the Gialletti family footsteps.
Every piece is entirely hand crafted and decorated and is of the highest quality.
Ceramiche Aristiche Gialletti Giulio S.n.c
Address: Via Tiberina Sud, 304, 06053 Deruta PG, Italy
Phone: +39 075 972021
Orvieto has a developed completely differently when it comes to ceramics.
Despite the fact that its only a 45-minute drive from Durata the merchandise could not be more different.
(Orvieto can be enjoyed on a day trip from Rome, as it is only about an hour’s drive north.) The town of Orvieto is made for strolling.There are tons of places to buy, but these are my favorites:
Pottery Shops In Orvieto
CeramichefusariFor over 50 years the Fusari family has been creating hand-made and hand-painted traditional Italian ceramics. Their love and passion for there work is seen in each unique pieces they create. Their well defined artistic identity is mixed with antique patterns from central Italy.
The product array of ceramics Fusari offers is vast and unique. It has an elegant artistic style perfect for any environment, both classic and modern.
The workshop and showroom are located in the center of Orvieto on Corso Cavour, not far from Piazza Cahen.
Corso Cavour 431/433, Orvieto (TR), 05018 Italia
Check out the shops and art workshops on Via dei Consoli, Via XX Settembre and the access roads to Piazza Grande (or Pensile).
Pottery Shops In Gubbio
La Mastro Giorgio Di Biagioli Valentino
Address: Piazza Grande, 3,
06024 Gubbio PG, Italy
Phone: +39 075 927 1574
Address: Via Ducale, 10,
06024 Gubbio PG, Italy
Phone: +39 075 927 7216
This hill-top town facing the valley of the Resina river is known for its beautiful studio pottery and polychrome terra-cotta with a metal glare.The luster technique depends on the Muffola: a special kiln used for the third firing and fuelled with bundles of broom that grow in the Gualdese Apennines and is the key to producing the smoke that generates that fantastic metallic luster.
Pottery Shops In Gualda Tadino
Passeri Ceramiche d'Arte
Via Flaminia Nord, 6
+39 075 914 0089
If you go be sure to visit the beautiful churches and cathedrals. I stayed over at Borgo Sant'Angelo - Albergo Diffuso a very comfortable bed and breakfast.For lunch La Terrazza di San Guido Restaurant is hard to beat.
Keep Smiling: You’re in Italy a country that has inspired visitors for centuries. Melt into the beautiful lifestyle, art, music, and scenery. Trade smiles with Italians and bring home memories of a really magnificent country.