The Artist's Guide

Amalfi Ceramics: Unearthing the Marvelous Maiolica

Fans of the ceramic arts will have something to look forward to when traveling to Italy’s Amalfi Coast! From Positano all the way to Salerno, discover the vibrant maiolica—the region’s signature ceramic style—with its distinctive colors inspired by the Mediterranean landscape, which decorates the floors of many palazzi and private villas, town façades, church domes, and pretty much everywhere in between.

Explore the capital of the Amalfi Coast’s maiolica tradition

At the southern end of the Amalfi Coast, Vietri sul Mare is a jewel that you don’t want to miss. The cliffside town has been a significant center of maiolica production since the Renaissance. The decorative technique, originated in the Middle East, was introduced to Italian artists by the pottery coming from Spanish Majorca. Centuries later, dozens of artisan shops continue the generations-long tradition of producing tiles, tableware, vases, pots, and other decorative pieces using the same craft.

Take a stroll through the colorful centro storico and marvel at the splendid hand-painted ceramics on display at every turn. Then take a closer look at the majestic Neapolitan Church of Saint John the Baptist, visible from miles away with its exquisite maiolica-covered dome. Want to learn more about the history and culture surrounding this centuries-old craft? Check out the spectacular Fabbrica di Ceramiche Solimene, which showcases contemporary works, then head up to the Museo della Ceramica high above town. Housed on the grounds of the splendid Villa Guariglia, the museum is dedicated to the ceramics of the Amalfi Coast and the province of Salerno—the perfect place to reflect on the evolution of maiolica, while admiring the scenic views over the Bay of Salerno.


Take a piece of the beautiful Amalfi Coast with you

With ceramics shops in every town along the coast, maiolica lovers are in for a treat! If you didn’t already get your fill of vases, plates, or tiles while visiting Vietri, stop by Ceramiche L’arte Vietrese in the picturesque seaside town of Maiori to browse a seductive selection of hand-crafted ceramic gifts and homewares. In Ravello, you’ll likely find your perfect statement piece at Ceramiche D’Arte Carmela. Amalfi’s Il Ninfeo is another shop you may like to check out (and while you’re there, ask if you can see the remains of a Roman villa under the showroom!). Some of the finest maiolica ceramics are also produced in Positano, in small family-run studios or larger factories deeply rooted in tradition. Try Ceramica Casola or Ceramica Assunta for a remarkable variety of patterns. If you’re in Sorrento, L’Artigianato is where you want to shop your special gifts. The best part? All these shops offer international shipping so you don’t have to worry about packing them in your suitcase.

The Stella

Author The Stella

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