The Amalfi Coast boasts a wealth of ancient artisan traditions. One such craft which has been drawing its inspiration from the beauty of the local landscape since Roman times is the art of making ceramics.
The local earth consists of clay and limestone and is rich in volcanic content, making it ideal for ceramic production. I love the way that the colours of the Amalfi Coast are represented in these beautiful hand-crafted vases, plates, pots, tiles, and other homewares.
You can see the sparkling sea, terraced gardens and luscious lemons in the many shades of blue, green, and yellow found on these stunning hand-painted pieces of pottery.
The town of Vietri sul Mare has been famous for its hand painted ceramics since the XVIII century. This seaside town which is around 4km west of Salerno is often referred to as the First Pearl of the Amalfi Coast (la prima perla della costiera amalfitana) thanks to its position at the beginning of the western end of the coastline. In Vietri sul Mare you can visit various famous ceramic factories and the Ceramics Museum (Museo della Ceramica) which is located in the charming Villa Guariglia.
If you want to completely immerse yourself in the history and culture surrounding this age-old craft you can even take ceramics classes in which you can learn how to make your own special Vietrese ceramic art.
Although the most historic ceramics on the Amalfi Coast are found in Vietri, you can find fine hand-crafted ceramic gifts and homewares in several nearby towns including Ravello, Maiori, Positano and bit further away in Sorrento (technically Sorrento is not on the Amalfi Coast as it’s on the the Sorrentine Peninsula across the Bay of Naples).
Every time I visit the Amalfi Coast I bring a bunch of gifts back for family and friends. One of my favourite spots to search for gifts and souvenirs is a family-run shop in Maiori called Ceramiche L’arte Vietrese in Maiori which sells handmade ceramics that are locally produced in Vietri sul Mare.
Maria and Pasquale run the store and they are extremely helpful when it comes to giving you advice on what to choose and answering any questions you might have about their beautiful ceramic wares. If I had the money I would probably buy everything in the store and fill my house with it!
If you are searching for Amalfi Coast ceramics here are a few other shops and ceramic production houses in the local area where you can purchase fine ceramic art:
Vietri sul Mare: Ceramica Pinto
Amalfi: Il Ninfeo
Ravello: Ceramiche D’Arte Carmela
Positano: Ceramiche Casola
If you can’t fit many ceramic gifts in your luggage ask the shop where you are buying the items if they can ship the goods to your house in your home country. If you are purchasing gifts for lots of different people or perhaps buying some items for your own house it may work out to not be fairly cost-effective to have the pieces shipped over, depending on the weight of the objects.
Would you like to know more about Amalfi Coast ceramics? Please feel free to ask questions or share your favourite Amalfi Coast artisan traditions in the comments section below.