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Vietri ceramic: Art that gathers all the colours of the Amalfi Coast

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

It’s true! All the colours of the marvelous Amalfi Coast are captured in the glazes and patterns of Vietri ceramic! The blue of the sky, the aquamarine of the water and the yellow of the iconic lemons become the perfect shades to paint the most desirable and famous ceramics in the world, dating back to the year 1500.

The houses overlooking the Amalfi Coast are decorated with plates, vessels, small cups, amphoras and other ornamental objects, while the majolicas and the riggiole--special tiles unique to the area--embellish the city of Vietri sul Mare. They are dotted along the streets of Vietri: real open-air art installations!

Over the centuries, Vietri ceramic has incorporated different shapes and visual designs, diversifying its repertoire with new objects and chromatic touches, thanks to the influences of the artisans coming from the Abruzzo and the Irpinia regions. After reaching Naples and other neighbouring regions, the ceramic industry of Vietri expanded, reaching Sicily in the year 1700.  

The most fruitful period for the Vietri ceramic was between the two World Wars. At the beginning of 1900, many German artists arrived in Vietri and formed a distinct community that started working with ceramics. Even while they respected the local traditions, these artists reinvigorated the traditional styles and created new shapes and decorations. They renewed the importance of Vietri and its artistic taste in Europe: Stüdemann, Kowaliska, Schwarz, Dölker. This last artisan, in particular, introduced il ciucciariello (the donkey) into the iconographic repertoire, turning it into the universal symbol of the ceramic of Vietri sul Mare.


Later on, new methods and procedures were introduced to improve the production of the ceramics. However, traditional  techniques such as the lathe are still in use, and the firm lines of the brush remain unaltered. Vietri continues to offer pieces which are unique and distinguished by their particular “Vietri” glaze, a tin-based mix that makes the object extremely lustrous and durable.


Discover more about the wonders of Vietri ceramic at the Museum of Ceramic, inside the public garden Villa Guariglia in Vietri sul Mare, a destination you’ll be able to reach when you #goboating with us soon!


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