On our way to Rome, the final stop of our recent trip to Italy, we took a detour from the highway to visit Deruta, the Umbrian town famous for its production of artistic ceramics (ceramiche artistiche). We drove to the downtown area and enjoyed a nice stroll along basically deserted streets (I believe everybody was in downtown Perugia for the opening of Eurochocolate). We visited some of the many stores that sell an incredible array of ceramic objects and could have spent many hours watching the painting of ceramics by expert hands.
The few images I took focus on signs. The words in the one above say "the town of civil art" (il paese dell'arte civile).
The tile above marks the entrance to a local government office and says "office of the citizens" (ufficio della cittadinanza). It bears the coat of arms (stemma) of Deruta. Based on what I read, the griffin (grifone) to the right of the tower represents the nearby city of Perugia.
We can expect stores that sell ceramic products to have their door decorated with ceramic tiles, as in the photo above (maioliche artistiche), but even stores that do not sell ceramics, like the pharmacy (farmacia), make use of the local art to announce their trade.
We did not remain in Deruta long enough to have a meal there, but a stop for un caffè was de riguer and above is the sign of the one chosen by my husband for his dose of Italian espresso, showing the town's main square.
The shop windows are full of all kinds of ceramic objects and this is a small example. The decoration on the table lamp is an example of the style called raffaellesco. I got enamored with the small egg-shaped containers you can see on the lower right corner of the window and purchased one, in red. The store owner packaged it very well in view of my three return flights. I was very anxious, because I had never brought back anything fragile.
Once at home, I verified that my purchase was still intact, then proceeded to fill it with Italian cioccolatini (chocolates). You may be wondering what else did I bring back from my homeland. I am planning to write a post devoted to the contents of my luggage, so stay tuned.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the cartolina da Deruta audio file [mp3].