Have you ever heard of Deruta? Most travelers will say no. Deruta is not on the normal tourist map and has no accomodations for overnight visitors. But, if you have an appreciation for hand painted ceramics, you should take the day off from tourist activities and go to Deruta. Italy is famous for its simply beautiful ceramics. You will see them for sale in every tourist city in Italy. But, little known is that nearly all of these ceramics were created in the town of Deruta. Deruta is located about two and a half hours southeast of Lucca, just south of Peruga and about three hours north of Rome. Not difficult to get to by car. If you need to overnight, the hilltop city of Todi is a great location only about thirty minutes south of Deruta.
Deruta contains over a hundred ceramics shops, many of which also house the workshops where the ceramics are painstakingly hand painted. The competetion between shops is high, and the creative designs vary greatly in search of buyers. Some workshops are large, with teams of artisans. But, most are the home to only one or two artists.
This is a typical building housing several shops. The road is the E45 highway that connects Perugia about 30 minutes to the north with Rome about three hours south.
There are many, many shops.
Some of which have large inventories of product available.
Products vary from dinnerware to lamps, clocks, wine bottle corks and other decorative stuff. After looking around at the many stores it becomes apparant that some are producing products of very high quality, where others are mass producing lesser quality products aimed at the tourist masses.
Over the years we have consistantly chosen this as one of our several favorite venues. Its the Maioliche Nulli housed in a beautiful old villa.
Rolando and his brother Goffredo are the two owner-artists. Their shop covers the entire basement area.
Consistant quality in their products.
Large and small.
Deruta is interesting for several reasons. The main highway, the E45 passes through the lower level of Deruta. In this photo the E45 runs from left to right. In my first visit to Deruta I had the impression that all of the ceramics shops/factories were located along this highway. On another visit I discovered that Deruta was literally two towns. One along the highway was very commercial and catered to passing travelers. But there is an entirely different Deruta on top of the hill in this photo.
This ancient Deruta is really off the normal trail. It is very hard to reach by car, and requires parking about half way up the hill and walking the rest of the way. The main street is the one running away behind this fountain. It is open only to pedestrian traffic. This and all of the side streets are full of small ceramics shops housing only one or two artists.
The main street is very laid back. Small bars and a restaurant along with many shops.
Some of the shops are showing off museum quality ceramics.
And precisely painted works in unusual colors.
Lots of choices.
This side street houses an interesting shop. Look inside..
Really different and interesting designs and painting.
How about these unusual candelabra?
This small one-person shop housed the female artist at a shop table off to the left, where she was painting highly intricate lace designs.
Like the lace work on the object to the right, or plate above left.
As a last look at Deruta, this is the city park at the edge of the historic upper city.