Deruta is a tiny hill-town in Italy’s central region of Umbria. Deruta and ceramics (majolica, to be exact) have been living in symbiosis for at least five hundred years. Though production dates to the beginning of the Middle Ages, Deruta’s characteristic patterns still painstakingly painted and fired by hand today reached their height during the 1600s. Deruta also developed a signature metallic luster ware production and unique red glaze during the 15th century, still considered the height of Italy’s historic majolica production.
It is easy to spot Deruta along Umbria’s principal highway. Dozens of ceramic workshops spill from the center of town on the hill’s crest above all the way down the slopes to the valley below. Among these traditional ateliers, from the tiny to the sprawling, visitors can choose exquisite hand-painted pieces made with the same care and style as five hundred years ago.
These make excellent souvenirs to carry back home from your Italian vacation. It is a good idea to hire a car to venture along the place, along the principal highway of Umbria where a myriad of ceramic workshops can be spotted.
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